Volunteering: behind the scenes, skills
Our libraries have over 100 volunteers who commit their time to enhance the service. From taking care of our gardens to facilitating reading groups and much much more. Working behind the scenes to make this happen is Volunteer Coordinator, Camilla Griffiths. In this post Camilla writes about her experience in the role and how you can get involved in volunteering.
For nearly 9 months now I’ve been in post as the Volunteer Coordinator for Richmond upon Thames Library Services. Having come from a library background, rather than a volunteering background, there’s been a lot to learn and to get my head around but I think I’m slowly getting there.
What has amazed me the most is the quality of the volunteers who are keen to get involved as well as the sheer number of people prepared to give up their time. I think this shows both how lucky we are in Richmond-upon-Thames that our residents want to help out, as well as indicating how important the library service is considered by the local community.
Whilst volunteering in libraries has been around for decades, the main volunteering programme in Richmond-upon-Thames has really taken off in the last couple of years, and we have recently seen the number of volunteers active in our libraries pass the 100 mark. People come from all walks of life, are of all ages, and get involved in many different ways.
One of the core features of the programme is that our volunteers work alongside our paid staff to provide additional services, such as facilitating clubs and groups, and do not carry out the same duties as our library staff, which is reassuring for everyone.
Volunteers week took place in June, for which we attended the Richmond Volunteering Fair and arranged a volunteers visit to the library at Kew Gardens. It was a lovely day for it.
There is plenty of information out there about the roles we offer and what you can do if you want to get involved so I won’t go into that here. Failing to say anyone interested should look here www.richmond.gov.uk/volunteering_at_the_library . If you have comments, queries or suggestions however, you can get in touch with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.