Working with volunteers in Staffordshire

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The Effects

A first venture into using volunteers has encouraged one library authority to do more

The Experience

Sue Ball, Service Development Officer Children and Young People Staffordshire Library and Information Services

Staffordshire Library and Information Services used volunteers for the Summer Reading Challenge for the first time last year.

It was small scale, with just two volunteers, but we plan to build on it and recruit more for this year. We recruited a young man through Staffordshire Youth Action Parliament who worked at Burton Library, the busiest library in the county, on the Saturdays at the start of the Challenge. He helped with registering children, distributing stickers and engaging with young people about what they had read. He also came along and supported some of the holiday activities for the children and it seemed to work really well.

We also recruited a volunteer through our Bridging the Gap project which supports young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities through the transition from school to work. A young lady worked at a library in Stafford assisting at some of the holiday activities that were arranged to promote the Challenge. Again, we had very positive feedback.

Because there were only two volunteers they were briefed and trained individually and were working alongside library staff all the time. Both were very successful and staff said that the young people were a real asset.


Staffordshire Library and Information Services <b/>Staffordshire Youth and Community Service

Challenges/Lessons learnt

The library service is working to recruit more volunteers with more pro-active publicity through the youth and community service, including a job description outlining the Summer Reading Challenge activities.

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