Love your library? Why not volunteer?
We offer an enjoyable and empowering experience for enthusiastic and committed people. Depending on your role you’ll either be working directly with the Warwickshire public or supporting those that do.
All core library work is carried out by staff, but volunteers take on a range of roles that help us add value to our communities, such as children’s activities, helping people use computers, discovering family histories and supporting our Home Library Service.
Could you be a library volunteer?
Our volunteers talk about their volunteering experience.
What’s in it for you
- Opportunity to meet new people;
- Learn new and enhance current skills;
- Improve your CV and future job prospects;
- Gain a sense of pride and satisfaction from helping others in your local community;
- Help to sustain our Library & Information Service.
What we offer
- a variety of flexible and regular volunteering opportunities;
- a welcoming environment and induction to the service and the role;
- training and support in the volunteer role.
What we expect from you
- to attend as agreed, and let us know when you can’t;
- to participate in the induction process and any training required for the role;
- to raise any concerns relating to your volunteer role with your named contact;
- to abide by the service’s policies and procedure, including health and safety and confidentiality.
Still not sure? Here’s what our volunteers say about their volunteering experience.
- 97% of respondents would recommend volunteering with Warwickshire Libraries to their family & friends.
- The top three reasons respondents gave for volunteering were ‘To help others’, ‘To support libraries’, and ‘I enjoy working within the community’.
- Half of respondents have been volunteering with Warwickshire Libraries for more than two years, some for more than ten years and some for as many as 25 years.
- Most respondents volunteer once a week for up to two hours.
- “I have learnt a lot of new skills during my time in the library and really enjoyed talking and encouraging the young children to read.”
- “I would not hesitate in recommending volunteering with the library service as it gives me a sense of fulfilment and achievement as well as a sense of purpose following retirement.”
- “There is always someone to help or to answer any questions I may have and I find everyone easy to approach and really helpful.”
Profile: Andrew Mawson – Silver Surfers Volunteer at Rugby Library
I have been the Silver Surfers Volunteer at Rugby Library for over two and a half years and I can honestly say choosing to volunteer was the best decision I ever made. The library staff are very supportive and let you get on with the role. I have also met and supported some amazing people who have had a very positive impact on my life. I came into the role as a very shy assistant who did not have a lot of self-confidence or self-belief but over time my confidence has grown and I have been able to take over the leadership of the session.
I help people with various computer problems, be it understanding how to use laptops, tablets or phones, or any queries they may have during the session. I feel this approach keeps my Silver Surfers engaged and enjoying the sessions as they are the ones setting the agenda for their learning. I never know what I will come up against each week which makes the sessions interesting to teach.
I try to be a friend to my Silver Surfers as well. I have a group of regulars who love coming each week. I encourage them to spend time talking to each other and we have built up our own little community. They also show concern for my welfare and are very supportive to me and my dreams of working in the Life Long Learning Sector one day.
Profile: Betty Addison – Older Persons Volunteer at Alcester Library
I was asked to set up a group for older persons, and so persuaded a few of my friends to join me at Alcester Library on a Monday morning. Some ideas were tossed around, until dear Maggie produced some cards and a cribbage board and offered to show us how to play. Instant success! We were hooked. Three years on we now number 20, men and women, ages ranging from 60 to 90, including two married couples, one pair having recently celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
My role involves setting up our meeting room with tables, chairs, and refreshments, and assisting members who use mobility aids to get to our room upstairs. I ensure that we have sufficient supplies of tea, coffee and biscuits and we celebrate birthdays with cake! There’s always an animated buzz of chatter, with frequent outbursts of shrieks, moans and laughter. It delights me to be surrounded by happy people.
What our members have said: “Very pleasant company, keeps the grey matter alert.”; “Monday morning Mathematics!”; “Lovely company and weekly get-together, Brilliant.”; “An excellent start to the week”.
I am greatly rewarded for a comparatively small effort in being a volunteer.
Roles and vacancies
Volunteers attend all of our County Council managed libraries. Volunteer roles are currently available at the following libraries:
- Alcester Library – Silver Surfer Volunteer (PDF, 69.39 KB) – Thursdays, 10:00 – 12:00.
- Atherstone Library – Hospitality Volunteer (PDF, 64.88 KB) – supporting events at the library when they happen.
- Rugby Library – Silver Surfer Volunteer (PDF, 69.39 KB). – Mondays, 10.30-12.30.
- Stratford Library
Libraries Live Champion
‘Libraries Live’ is a collaboration between artists and community managed libraries which will create ‘live laboratories’ of creative engagement to provide an opportunity to risk take, innovate, share knowledge, skills and ideas.
The project aims to deliver an ambitious artist in residence programme across three counties to creatively explore and respond to the theme of change in libraries.
This exciting volunteer opportunity will run for around 12 months from August 2018. The closing date for applications is 24 July 2018.
The Home Library Service, based at Kenilworth Library, is always looking for new volunteers. Commit as much or as little time as you can spare, from one day a month to a few hours a week, Monday to Friday. You can help with:
- Book selection: spend a few hours in an afternoon choosing books, talking books, and jigsaws for customers;
- Visiting / driving: use one of our transit vans to visit housebound people across Warwickshire. It is not necessary to be able to drive as volunteers always go out in pairs. Some customers like to chat while others see the visit as a delivery. If you do not wish to commit to a regular day, and are happy to be added to a list of volunteers to be contacted on an ad hoc basis, these roles may be for you.
Apply to be a volunteer and we will contact you when a suitable post becomes available.
If you would like more information, please contact the Home Library and Mobile Library Service:
What happens after my application is received?
We will contact you to arrange an informal interview about the role. If the role matches your skills and experience we will contact your referees. Subject to satisfactory references we will arrange a date to complete a volunteer induction and agree a start date. If the role is not a good match, we will suggest other opportunities that might be suitable for you.
Other volunteering opportunities in Warwickshire libraries
Volunteer to be a Code Club facilitator
We host Code Clubs for young people in some of our libraries. Volunteers help to run clubs using specially created resources. Find out more and search for volunteering opportunities: Code Club – find a club near you.
Volunteering at community managed libraries
There might also be volunteer opportunities at community managed libraries, which are run by local community groups with support from Warwickshire Libraries. You can contact them directly via our community managed libraries page.