Volunteering in Libraries

We are grateful to volunteers who support Nottingham City Libraries.

Volunteering increases skills and experience, it makes a difference in local communities across the City. 

What to expect

  • A quality induction
  • Relevant training
  • Ongoing support from a named person
  • Opportunities to meet with fellow volunteers
  • Annual celebration event
  • We value our volunteers’ opinions and ideas through feedback and consultation

How to apply

Find the role for you below and complete the online application form.

You should expect to hear if you will be invited to attend an informal interview or a trial in the role within five working days.

We require two satisfactory references for each volunteer and some roles are subject to clearance of a Data and Barring Service (DBS) check, previously known as CRB.

What our volunteers said

“I enjoy the chance to meet a range of interesting people and the challenge to make their experience interesting, helpful and enjoyable”


 

“There is so much to be gained from volunteering, and after many years of retirement it is great to be valued again, to learn new skills, meet new people of different generations, share experiences and expertise and feel that one is being physically and mentally challenged”


 

“I like feeling like I'm making a difference. Over several years, you build up a relationship with the community and it is also a nice break from my everyday life”


 

“I really enjoy being involved in the activities which have been interesting and varied, and it is very rewarding to see the children and parents' enjoyment.  I also enjoy feeling part of the process to promote and encourage people to use libraries, having a sociable and rewarding role working alongside such lovely and supportive library staff, and feeling valued.”


 

Current opportunities 

Listed below are the roles we can offer, sign up to our newsletter for monthly alerts about new opportunities as they come up and general library news.

After-school Activities Helper

Role: After-school Activities Helper

Make a positive contribution to a young person’s education and confidence by supporting our after school activities using library resources (books, computers, games etc) in our safe, welcoming spaces.

Key Tasks:

  • Set up sessions with appropriate materials and clear away at the end
  • Encourage and support pupils to develop their reading and literacy skills, understand their homework, and use their own initiative
  • Listen to children read, help understand the text, and encourage them to engage with a wide variety of reading materials
  • Encourage participation in games which can help improve memory, strategic thinking, problem solving, and communication skills

What are we looking for:

  • An encouraging, non-judgemental person with good spoken and written English and a genuine interest in supporting young people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and situations
  • A regular commitment to at least one term-time session between 3.30 to 5.30pm
  • A DBS check will be carried out for this role

For more information about the activities and where they take place visit the Library for 5-11 years page.

Chai Experience - Asian Social History Volunteer

The exciting Chai Experience project aims to celebrate and showcase Nottingham’s Asian Social Heritage in the 50’s and 60’s.

Volunteers will support and encourage people to share their personal experiences and memorabilia of life in Nottingham.  The 18 month project will run at 4 libraries; Central, Wollaton, Dales Centre (Sneinton) and Hyson Green and will form a collection of resources for our Local Studies department.

Key Tasks:

  • Encourage people to chat and discuss their experiences of life in Nottingham
  • Support any language barriers to enable individuals to take part in conversations
  • Ensure individuals are motivated and encourage future attendance and engagement with the project
  • Act as an advocate for the project
  • Support individuals to fill in any paperwork required as part of the project to capture memories or to acknowledge donations of material
  • Contribute to the identification and recording of heritage material
  • Support the project team with the interpretation of material within the Local Studies Library (Full training and support provided for this element)

What are we looking for:

  • Good communication skills with the ability to support language barriers
  • Interest in Heritage/ Asian Heritage
  • An organised, reliable team player
  • Commitment to one venue with a minimum attendance of 4  x 2 hour workshops. Dates TBC
  • Able to support end of project celebration events

Community Gardener

Role: Community Gardener

Description:
A rewarding opportunity to help maintain one or more of our library gardens. To use your creativity to make them accessible, inviting and enjoyable environments for local people. We have outdoor spaces at these libraries: Aspley, Basford, BilboroughDales CentreMeadows, Radford-Lenton and  Wollaton.

Key Tasks:

  • Maintain garden with weeding and planting, keeping it tidy, safe and attractive
  • Share ideas with library staff and seek donations of seeds, plants and equipment for the gardens

What are we looking for:

  • A friendly person with some gardening knowledge and skills
  • Organised and reliable and able to use own initiative
  • Able to commit to maintaining at least one library garden regularly (ideally weekly or fortnightly)

Conversation Groups - for learners of English

Role: English Conversation Group Facilitator

Support and encourage people from different cultures to improve their spoken English skills and to help them integrate with the City through stimulating and varied conversation

Key Tasks:

  • Plan and deliver weekly sessions using a wide range of appropriate discussion topics and materials
  • Complete and submit basic weekly attendance records to help monitor and develop the service

What we are looking for:

  • A non-judgemental, open-minded and friendly person with good spoken English and the ability to encourage people from all communities
  • Ongoing commitment to at least one of the following weekly sessions:

Mondays         12.30pm to 3 pm at Dales Centre Library

Thursdays       2.15pm to 4.30pm at Nottingham Central Library

 

Home Library Service

Role: Home Library Service Volunteer

Enable people to enjoy books, film, or music once they are unable to visit their local library for reasons such as disability, mobility, illness, or caring responsibilities

Key Tasks:

  • Deliver books, music, films and information to people in areas of Nottingham City
  • Take time to discuss with the customer what further books, music, films etc they would like, giving any suggestions or ideas

What are we looking for:

  • A friendly, enthusiastic and reliable person who can communicate with a diverse range of people
  • We are particularly interested in people who have fluency in other languages that represent the diversity of Nottingham
  • Ability to commit to at least 1 round per every 3 weeks (various times available) for 6 months or more
  • A DBS check is required for this role

 Information about the Home Library Service is featured on our Accessible Library page.

Language Café

Role: Language Café Volunteer

Support and encourage Nottingham’s diverse communities to learn and develop new languages, share knowledge, and meet new people in a relaxed, inclusive environment.

 Key Tasks:

  • Prepare the room with refreshments, books etc and clear up at the end of the session
  • Welcome new members, match them appropriately based on chosen language and teach and converse with participants using your language skills

What are we looking for:

  • An encouraging, non-judgemental person with good spoken English and a genuine interest in supporting people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and situations
  • Minimum 3 month commitment, for at least one Saturday afternoon per month from 12.45 to 3.15pm at Nottingham Central Library

Library Friends

Role: Library Friends

Help combat loneliness and social isolation by hosting regular library activity sessions at one of our Games Cafés or Library Talks.

 Key Tasks:

  • Prepare an area of the library with refreshments, games etc and clear up at the end of the session
  • Welcome attendees, mainly older people and young families, to the activity
  • Encourage people to feel included and participate in the group, e.g. introducing to others, playing games with them

 

What are we looking for:

  • A friendly, reliable person with a genuine interest in supporting people to overcome loneliness
  • Minimum 4 month commitment to at least one 2 hour session per week 

Games Cafés

Mondays at Basford LibraryClifton Library or Southglade Park Library. 10 am to 12 pm

Library Talks

Second Tuesday each month Basford Library 10 am to 12 pm

First Thursday each month Clifton Library 10 am to 12 pm

 Other new activity sessions are coming soon, sign up to our monthly library newsletter to get alerts straight to your email inbox.

Storysmash

Role: Storysmash Helper

Help young adults develop confidence and new skills with this innovative project connecting reading, creative writing and gaming.

Key Tasks:

  • Encourage and motivate 11-25 year olds to actively participate in workshops developing games using Twine, an open source tool enabling the creation of interactive stories
  • Facilitate casual, inclusive gaming sessions

What are we looking for:

  • A reliable, good communicator who can relate well to young people aged 11-25 years and has an interest in creative writing, reading and literacy
  • Good digital skills with a knowledge of gaming and a willingness to learn basic Twine skills. All training provided

Minimum of 6 months commitment to at least one of the following weekly sessions:

 

Saturdays, Bulwell Riverside Library 10am to 12pm

Mondays, St Ann’s Valley Library 4pm to 6pm

Thursdays, Nottingham Central Library 5pm to 7pm

 

 

Apply now

General volunteer enquiry email 

library.volunteer@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

 

Duke of Edinburgh award placements

Libraries are keen to support young people working towards their Bronze and Silver awards.

We can accommodate one young person per library at a time so cannot always guarantee a placement. To apply please download and complete the Duke of Edinburgh Application Form.

or get in touch via email for more information: library.volunteer@nottinghamcity.gov.uk