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Volunteering in Cheshire West and Chester Libraries

 

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  • Would you like to get involved with your local library service?
  • Do you have time to spare and would you like to give something back to your local community? 
  • Do you have skills to share, or would you like to meet new people? 
  • Would you like to gain some experience in a busy and varied environment?

We offer a variety of roles. Not all the roles will be available in all of the libraries, but if you are interested in getting involved please complete an application form, indicating what role you are interested in, and at which library.

Please note: if you would like to volunteer at Storyhouse, Chester’s brand new theatre, library, cinema and arts centre, please visit their website to sign up

After receiving your completed form we will get in touch to arrange an informal interview. If you have any queries please email us.

Volunteering opportunities

Volunteering opportunities are listed below - you can apply for any of the opportunities listed  by using our online form.

 
Role title

Profile/person specification/role description

Activities and events volunteer

Profile

This voluntary post is an opportunity to gain experience of working with the general public in a customer service role. It will suit someone who is interested in libraries, books and reading and who enjoys meeting and helping people.

It will involve helping with author talks, craft events, coffee mornings and other social activities. Frequency and times will be varied.

Person specification 

Good communication skills; friendly and outgoing; interested in promoting reading and learning; be able to commit to approximately two hours per session; be flexible; be able to carry light items, e.g. craft box or tea tray.

Role description 

Meet and greet library customers; prepare, lay out and serve refreshments; lay out and organise craft materials; help organise seating and tables; sell or collect tickets where appropriate; clear up afterwards; liaise with staff regarding supplies: work alongside library staff and other volunteers.

English conversation volunteer

Profile 

This voluntary post is an opportunity to gain experience of working with the general public in a customer service role. It will suit someone who is interested in libraries, books and reading and who enjoys meeting and helping people.

It will involve running informal conversation sessions with people whose first language is not English, giving them the chance to practice speaking English, and also meet new people. The sessions will be run on a regular basis, usually either weekly or fortnightly.

Person specification 

Good communication and listening skills; be proficient in the English language; friendly and outgoing; interested in promoting reading and learning; be able to commit to approximately two hours per session on a regular basis; be flexible. 

Role description 

Meet and greet library customers; help organise seating and tables; lead the sessions by prompting conversations and also devising practical exercises; work alongside library staff and other volunteers; the facilitator is not necessarily a trained teacher but needs to have a good standard of proficiency in the English language.

Home Library Service

Profile

The Home Library Service supports those who are ill or elderly and cannot get to a library, by delivering books or other library materials direct to their door. This voluntary post is an opportunity to gain experience of working with the general public in a customer service role. It will suit someone who is interested in libraries, books and reading and who enjoys meeting and helping people. It will involve selecting and delivering books to members of the public in their own homes. The volunteer will deliver and collect books on a regular basis, as agreed with their customers.

Person specification

Good communication skills; friendly and outgoing; interested in promoting reading and learning; full driving licence and appropriate MOT, road tax and motor insurance; be flexible; be able to carry light items, eg bag of books.

Role description

The volunteer will work with library staff to select appropriate books and talking books from library shelves, issue the items to a library card, then deliver them to the person in their own home. The volunteer will liaise with the customers, develop an understanding of their reading tastes, and share an enthusiasm for books and reading. The volunteer will maintain a regular schedule of visits to their customers.

IT volunteer 

Profile

This voluntary post is an opportunity to gain experience of working with the general public in a customer service role. It will suit someone who is interested in libraries, new technology, books and reading, and who enjoys meeting and helping people.

It will involve showing people the benefit of being online and helping them with new technology.

Person specification 

Good IT skills; good communication and listening skills; patience, flexibility and a good sense of humour; enthusiastic about new technology; interested in promoting reading and learning; be able to commit time on a regular basis.

Role description 

Provide help and support for library customers in using computers and the internet, usually on a one to one basis; promote the library’s online services, for example, e-books; assist with ICT learning events, for example, Adult Learners Week and Get Online Week; to help and support people to manage their own learning, using courses such as ‘Learn My Way’.

Library helper, Hoole Community Library 

Profile 

This voluntary post is an opportunity to gain experience of working with the general public in a customer service role. It will suit someone who is interested in libraries, books and reading and who enjoys meeting and helping people. The library will be staffed by two Volunteer Library Helpers whenever it is open.

Full training will be provided. There will be no day to day supervisio but there will be support from a Senior Customer Services Representative and from Chester Library.

Person specification 

Good communication skills; interested in promoting reading and learning; good IT skills.

Role description 

Meet and greet library customers; assist library users with the Self Service machine; shelve returned stock, and maintain tidiness of shelves; process new stock and deal with deliveries of returned stock; help customers to find books on the library catalogue and direct them to the shelves; refer library users who require more detailed assistance to library staff in other branches; be responsible for the appearance, cleanliness and safety of the library rooms, reporting any issues as required.

Local or family history volunteer 

Profile 

This voluntary post is an opportunity to gain experience of working with the general public in a customer service role. It will suit someone who has an interest in family or local history. It will involve showing people the range of resources available in libraries and online.

Person specification 

Passion and enthusiasm for local or family history; some knowledge of family or local history resources; good IT skills; good communication and listening skills; patience, flexibility and a good sense of humour; be able to commit time on a regular basis. 

Role description

Provide help and support for library customers by signposting them to resources that will help with their research; promote the library’s online services, for example, Find My Past and Ancestry.com.

Reading group volunteer 

Profile 

This voluntary post is an opportunity to gain experience of working with the general public. It will suit someone who is interested in libraries, books and reading and who enjoys sharing and talking about books. The volunteer will lead a small reading group in a selected library, on a regular basis.

Person specification 

Interested in reading and talking about books; good communication and listening skills; patience, flexibility and a good sense of humour; be able to commit time on a regular basis.

Role description 

Assist in the selection of reading material for each session, liaising with library staff; lead the discussion, making sure everyone has a chance to speak; prepare any necessary refreshments;  clear away at the end of the session; promote joining the library and use of library resources e.g. e-books.

Reading Hack (age 13-24 years) 

Profile 

This voluntary post is an opportunity to gain experience of working with the general public. It will suit someone who is interested in libraries, books and reading. The role will involve assisting library staff to deliver the Summer Reading Challenge during the summer holidays and to promote reading and using the library to young people at other times of the year.

(This role is also suitable for young people participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award).

Person specification 

Enthusiastic about books and reading; friendly and approachable manner; good communication and listening skills; patience, flexibility and a good sense of humour; be able to commit time on a regular basis. 

Role description 

To encourage and motivate children to complete the challenge; to assist library staff with registering school children for the Challenge and help with filling out registration forms; explain how the Summer Reading Challenge works; to give out stickers and update forms; to help with displays, events and craft activities; to tidy the Children’s Library; to assist the library staff in creating displays.

Rhymetime volunteer

Profile 

This voluntary post is an opportunity to gain experience of working with the general public. It will suit someone who is interested in libraries, books and reading.The role will involve leading rhyme time sessions for groups of babies and toddlers and their parents.

Person specification 

Confidence in leading a group with songs and rhymes; have, or want to develop skills working with children under five; good communication and listening skills; patience, flexibility and a good sense of humour; be able to commit time on a regular basis. 

Role description 

Singing rhymes and songs in a structured session and welcoming families into the library; select and lead the singing of songs and rhymes; plan the use of resources, where appropriate, for example, puppets, craft materials; help to get the space ready for the event, and clear away afterwards; encourage those who attend the session to join the library and borrow books; promote the Bookstart Bear Club.

Stock volunteer 

Profile 

This voluntary post is an opportunity to gain experience of working with the general public. It will suit someone who is interested in libraries, books and reading. The volunteer will help to keep library shelves tidy and in good order and undertake minor book repairs.

Person specification 

Be confident putting items into alphabetical or numerical order; interested in reading; good communication and listening skills; patience, flexibility and a good sense of humour; be able to commit time on a regular basis.

Role description 

Help with library stock, mainly tidying shelves and topping up displays; when on the library floor help customers who may ask for assistance, referring them to library staff when appropriate; undertake minor stock repair work, for example, replacing book jackets or stickers; prepare discarded items for booksale; promote joining the library and use of library resources, for example, e-books.

Storytime volunteer

Profile 

This voluntary post is an opportunity to gain experience of working with the general public. It will suit someone who is interested in libraries, books and reading. The role will involve reading stories to groups of children, mainly under 5s.

Person specification

Interest in reading; have, or want to develop skills working with children under five; good communication and listening skills; patience, flexibility and a good sense of humour; be able to commit time on a regular basis.

Role description

Reading stories in a structured session and welcoming families into the library; select picture books to use during the session; plan the use of resources, where appropriate, for example, puppets, craft materials; help to get the space ready for the event and clear away afterwards; encourage those who attend the session to join the library and borrow books.

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