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Young peoples library volunteering

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Please read this urgent statement about Surrey's library service including information about loans and renewals.

You can access our online library services: Free eBooks, eAudio, eMagazines and newspapers as well as other resources that can be accessed at home

Shut but still open

We have published a list of online services, activities and fun things for both children and adults to do whilst at home.

Libraries from home for children and young people

Libraries from home for adults

A number of volunteering roles for young people are available in the library. Different minimum ages apply depending on the role, however we need you to be at least 14 years of age (although see Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) awards below regarding year 9).

Duke of Edinburgh awards

"I loved seeing how the library worked behind the scenes and being a part of that. It was a good first step into the real world!"

We offer volunteer placements which may count towards your Duke of Edinburgh volunteering awards at bronze, silver and gold levels. Please check with your DofE leader before applying.

You must be at least in year 9 at school and able to offer the specified regular time commitment as these places are in great demand. Your commitment depends on the award level, with bronze volunteers starting with one hour per week for 12 or 26 weeks. You will be asked to help with routine library tasks such as shelving, helping people operate the self-service machines, presenting notice boards and finding books. You may be offered some project work depending on the level. If you opt to volunteer during the summer you will support the Summer Reading Challenge. At the end of your time with us we will complete the required assessment for the award.

We offer two tranches of volunteering for bronze awards.

  1. Autumn/spring. We require a commitment from you to volunteer for 6 months, mid-November to mid-May for about an hour per week; choose this to meet the Duke of Edinburgh requirement for one option to be done for 6 months. Application dates for Autumn placements will be confirmed in early 2020.
  2. Summer. Choose this if you only wish to volunteer for 12 weeks. Your placement would commence in June and end sometime in September. You will assist with running the Summer Reading Challenge. Applications for Summer Duke of Edinburgh placements will be accepted from 6 April – 26 June.

Early application is encouraged as places are limited. Applications cannot be received outside the 'open' periods, and we do not keep waiting lists. If you miss these periods you may wish to make a direct approach to one of our Community Partnered Libraries, who may also be recruiting volunteers.

Silver level Duke of Edinburgh applicants should apply for the six month Autumn/Spring placement.

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Summer Reading Challenge

"I felt like I had done something worthwhile with my summer, I love books and it was great to help the children, so I really enjoyed it!"

Each summer we recruit volunteers aged between 14–25 to help us run the annual Summer Reading Challenge - where children of primary school age sign up to read at least six library books over the school holidays and collect incentives along the way. It's a busy time for libraries and we appreciate your help. In this role, you would encourage children to read more by talking to them about their books, help with events and activities, sign children up to the challenge and give them rewards for reading. It is a great way to get experience for your CV and our volunteers have a lot of fun. We need you to be enthusiastic about reading, friendly and enjoy working with children. The minimum commitment is at least 10 hours during the Challenge period, which can be intensive or throughout the summer to suit your holidays and the library.

Our young people's volunteering opportunities are limited and allocated by role to each library. If you wish to count Summer Reading Challenge volunteering towards your Duke of Edinburgh award, apply for the Duke of Edinburgh role.

You can apply for Summer Reading Challenge volunteer role from 6 April.

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Work experience

The current massive and unprecedented budget pressures on Surrey County Council has meant that the library service, amongst other services, is currently developing what the service will look like in the years ahead. As such, we are not in a position to offer work experience placements until this has been completed and outcomes are known. If you wish to be considered instead as a Summer Reading Challenge volunteer or for Duke of Edinburgh placements please read the relevant sections above.