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Library Direct - volunteering

Library Direct volunteers visit residents who are no longer able to visit the library themselves due to ill-health, disability, mobility problems and/or caring responsibilities.

Although a large number of our Library Direct clients are elderly, Surrey residents of any age can and do use this service. As well as bringing the library to these residents, your visit is often a welcome social interaction and often encourages our clients to feel part of their wider community.

There are two different options for our Library Direct volunteer role, you can choose to be involved in both or just one of the options available:

  • Our Home Service delivers books and/or audiobooks to individuals in their own homes on a regular basis (monthly, fortnightly) and usually last between 20 - 40 minutes per visit.
  • Alternatively, if you would like to work beside another volunteer and visit a group of residents then our Community Settings service may be more suitable for you. This service, which mainly supports care homes, provides a monthly visit that can take between up 2.5 - 3 hours which includes the time to select and return items to the library.

This is voluntary work and the amount of time you are able to give is appreciated. We would stress that for our Library Direct Home Service readers, continuity is essential; so you should be able to give a regular commitment in terms of day and time - be that on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. When considering this type of voluntary work, you should consider the number of hours you can give, on which days and how often, which will determine the maximum number of clients or Community Settings you will be able to visit.

To give Library Direct clients a choice of reading and other material, a selection of books or talking books should be taken to each client. Please be aware that there is some carrying of books involved.

This role requires you to have a Disclosure and Barring check (DBS). We require our volunteers to have basic IT skills and an active email address, due to the way in which we share information and personal data with volunteers in order to comply with Data protection and regulation. You will also need to be able to complete a mandatory online Safeguarding Course.

As our Library Direct Home Service clients may be spread around a wide area, it is helpful if you have access to a car, and you can claim petrol expenses.

Although it would be useful if you are a reader yourself, this is not essential. Staff at the library from which you are volunteering will be able to give you some guidance to help you satisfy the reading tastes of your clients.

More information on the services provided by Library Direct is available online.

Apply for a volunteering role

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