Volunteer

We have a number of volunteering roles in our libraries, which are open to volunteers over the age of 16. 

Volunteers help to extend and enhance the services we provide. They give support for everyday activities, helping alongside our staff, to improve community access to the service.

In addition to the everyday activities volunteers have opportunities in some libraries to help support special projects or events such as the Southwell Poetry Festival, Readers’ Days and various cultural or reading based activities.  Similarly, volunteers who are interested in becoming more involved with children’s activities may help library staff with their promotion, preparation and assist with the supervision and smooth running of craft activities and events. 

To apply for any of our roles, please download an application form.  If you have any questions, then please email volunteers@inspireculture.org.uk

Roles

Library Volunteer

Key Tasks for Everyday Activities:

  • meeting and greeting library customers
  • helping customers to find the resources they want
  • re-shelving books and keeping the library safe and tidy
  • undertaking selected library routines and procedures
  • helping customers logon to computers
  • assisting with general library events including preparing and offering refreshments and clearing up afterwards
  • helping to maintain the book stock by carrying out cleaning and repairs
  • helping with library displays
  • helping to promote the library service in the community and encourage local community groups, schools, playgroups and other organisations to realise the benefits of library usage

Additional Tasks as required and agreed:

  • undertaking consultations and surveys - interacting with library users and potential users
  • supporting and helping in the organising, preparation and delivery of library based sessions e.g. Story Hullabaloo, Rattle, Rhyme and Roll sessions, Book groups, knit and natter groups, arts and gallery events etc.
  • supporting the annual activities programme for example Summer Reading Challenge, Southwell Poetry Festival, Jazz Steps
  • helping to supervise, support and deliver children’s holiday activities
  • help to meet and greet members of the public at children's events, promote library services, take tickets, answer queries and give directions.

General Information

Volunteering in a library is a great way to meet new people, make new friends, enhance existing skills and develop new ones.

In general, a Library Volunteer should be prepared to commit to a regular time - a three or four hour session a week or fortnight, however, for special events or activities support may involve one off evening or weekend sessions.

Occasionally, an event or a library promotional activity may take place outside of a library building, for example a village fete or a special cultural event, but in all cases volunteers will have been consulted on supporting this and will always help alongside library staff.

We will provide a full introductory training package and ask you to commit to undertake future training as and when the role may require it.

To help you during your volunteering experience you will also have the opportunity to have regular meetings for support and guidance from a named member of library staff, the frequency of which will be mutually agreed.

In addition to the above general Library Volunteer role there are opportunities for people with particular skills and interest to become a Local Studies Library Volunteer, a Mobile Library Volunteer or an IT Volunteer.  

IT Volunteer - Libraries

Inspire runs a free IT training programme called "Try IT". It provides basic, informal IT training to members of the public, often on a one to one basis. 

Key Tasks:

  • supporting the promotion of TryIT in the community
  • helping to organise and deliver library based IT sessions for customers who have little or no experience of using a computer
  • using pre-designed training handouts as a basis for each session
  • encouraging people to have a go at using a computer during national promotions such as Get Online Week and Silver Surfers Day.

Local Studies Volunteer – Libraries

If you have a special interest in local and family history, then helping in one of our larger libraries’ local studies library may be of interest to you.

Key Tasks for Everyday Activities:

  • assisting with ongoing Local Studies projects e.g. cutting and indexing local newspapers, filing ephemera and stock work
  • supporting and assisting at Local Studies events
  • supporting and assisting customers to use Family History resources
  • helping with Local Studies displays in the library
  • helping to record local community history
  • preparing photographs for digitisation or to use in promotional activity

Mobile Library Volunteer

In general, a mobile Library Volunteer should be prepared to commit to a regular session once or twice a month.  Mobile libraries can be away from their base library for up to seven hours although some sessions are shorter than others depending on the route served.  It may also be possible to volunteer for shorter periods by independently meeting the mobile at some point during the day.

Toilet facilities are available on board the mobile library.

Mobile libraries are based at Southwell, Worksop and Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

Key Tasks for Everyday Activities:

  • meeting and greeting mobile library customers
  • helping customers to find the resources they want
  • re-shelving books and keeping the mobile library safe and tidy
  • helping to promote the mobile library service by talking to local people in the community and distributing publicity materials as appropriate.

Additional Tasks as required and agreed:

  • undertaking consultations and surveys - interacting with mobile library users and potential users
  • helping with one-off activities and events on the mobile library.