Staff at Misterton Library are urging more young people to take advantage of volunteering opportunities on offer at the venue.
The library provides a great volunteering opportunity for young people doing their Duke of Edinburgh’s award – and for young people to learn new skills that can be used in further education and, in time, in the workplace.
One person who has signed up for volunteering at the library is Victoria Taylor.
Victoria, 16, joined initially as a librarian when the library was still run by Nottingham County Council, to complete her Duke of Edinburgh’s bronze award.
And, having got that, she’s continued as a volunteer of her own accord, coming in on Saturday mornings to help keep the library running, now that it has taken over by the Misterton Parish Council in a unique arrangement with Inspire, Nottinghamshire County Council’s innovative new cultural organisation.
Victoria’s duties include dealing with customers in person, or over the phone, handling returned books, shelving unwanted books, checking books are in the correct alphabetical and numerical order, and generally keeping the library tidy.
And she has gained a lot from her experience.
She said: “Over the past two years, it has really helped me to become more confident talking to new people – individuals not of my age group that I wouldn’t normally mix with in the community.”
Victoria wants to be a nursery teacher and her volunteering experience will help with her career hopes.
She continued: “Being a volunteer has meant learning new skills and learning that people have different outlooks and abilities.”
The library is also able to offer young people with health or social difficulties the same opportunities, working with experienced staff and volunteers.
Victoria is the most experienced young volunteer and even helped new adult volunteers at their first sessions.
A year after taking over running the library, the parish council extended its opening hours to give an extra half-day opening so more people could use the service.
So the library is looking for more volunteers to keep the service running.
Training is provided and new recruits can ‘shadow’ more experienced volunteers;
Inspire also has a helpline; and the parish council has a named member, David Seymour, to oversee the library and chair a members’ working group.
So there is plenty of support for anyone who wants to get involved with volunteering and help keep the library running.
Volunteers are needed for the library’s new opening hours, which are Tuesday to Thursday 2pm to 5pm and Saturdat, 9.30am to 12.30pm.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help support the Library should contact The
Misterton Centre & Library on 01427 890646.