Make a difference by volunteering at your local library

A hand taking a book from a library shelf

Tue 23 Jan 2024

Do you fancy a change in 2024, or want to try your hand at something new? Do you want to use some of your spare time to give something back and make a difference in your community?

If so, why not volunteer at one of Derby’s libraries? From offering a warm welcome, guiding someone through using a computer, helping a member find the right book or hosting groups, you have something to offer.

Volunteers make a huge difference within our libraries, and so could you. They have helped set up and support Warm Spaces in libraries across the city, which offer people the opportunity to connect with others and relax with some books and a free hot drink.

In Chaddesden and Blagreaves, volunteers have hosted successful visits from local primary schools, encouraging children to join their library and discover a love of reading. Blagreaves volunteers also support events including councillor surgeries, community hub events and neighbourhood forums. Volunteers have started new groups in Spondon and Allestree, and give valuable support to Allenton’s Job Club.

These are just some examples of the great work being done by volunteers in libraries around the city. But it’s not just about giving back to the community – it can be a fun and fulfilling hobby, or even enhance your CV.

Volunteering at Sinfin Library gave David Morris a boost following his retirement. David said:

After a lifetime of retail experience leading to a senior management role in a major company, I found that when I retired, I missed the interaction with people and wanted to give something back to my community.

A friend of mine was volunteering at Sinfin Library and I signed up in 2019. As an avid reader I was in my element and got involved for two half-days a week. There is an excellent team volunteering there and I quickly made friends. It was a new challenge and got me out of the retirement blues.

Post-Covid I was ill but am now back in the library one afternoon a week. Once in, you cannot stay away! I remember my Godmother telling me you are never alone with a good book. It is true.

Councillor Nadine Peatfield, Derby City Council Cabinet Member for City Centre, Regeneration, Culture and Tourism, said:

Volunteers are doing such great work in libraries around the city and we’re so grateful for the huge contribution they make. It’s a fantastic way to make a difference in your community while meeting new people and having fun. It’s also an ideal opportunity for younger people to broaden their CV. So, whatever your age, why not give it a try?

Library volunteers are asked to commit at least one morning or one afternoon a week. You will be joining a friendly and welcoming team supported by library staff, with full training given.

You can find more information about volunteering on the Derby Libraries website.