Six volunteers worked in Hereford library this summer. They each contributed, in their own way, to the success of the Summer Reading Challenge. The volunteer who made the most impact, both on children and on library staff, was 14 year-old Gareth. Coincidentally, he was also the youngest.
The Summer Reading Challenge is fast approaching and soon hundreds of volunteers will be on the lookout for fun activities to do in the library. Share your Mythical Maze activity with us and be in with the chance to win a prize.
Volunteering for the Summer Reading Challenge is a great way to give something back to your community. You get to work with kids, encouraging them to enjoy reading and you'll pick up some great skills and experience for your personal statement or CV along the way. Signed up and ready to go? Here are five things to prepare you before you start.
We've been on a mission to create some short films about volunteering and the skills you can gain from doing so. We teamed up with Verdant Films, comedian and comedy writer Holly Walsh and a host of young volunteers to shoot the films on location, at the Ideas Store, Whitechapel.
Seventeen year old Saagar's volunteering journey began when he needed some volunteering experience to complete his Duke of Edinburgh Award. He has been a library user all his life and had seen and participated in activities that the library offered. He therefore viewed the library as a place that could offer him exactly the volunteering experience he was looking for.
Seventeen year old Katy started coming to the library with her mother from a very young age. Her mother became a volunteer at the library, and Katy accompanied her, helping out too. She enjoyed it so much that as soon as she was old enough, she became an official volunteer for a library in Wiltshire.
It's clear that taking on volunteers during the Summer Reading Challenge helps support libraries at a very busy time of year. But how can libraries ensure that young volunteers have the best possible experience. We talked to libraries that have worked with Summer Reading Challenge volunteers a number of years to find out.
Libraries in North Yorkshire have been successfully working with Summer Reading Challenge volunteers since 2010. Numbers of volunteers have been growing steadily since they started and in 2013 they worked with approximately ninety volunteers. We spoke to Hazel Smith, Team Leader - Service Development, about her experiences.
Tracy Hager, Children & Young People's Librarian in Wiltshire, is responsible for recruiting and working with Summer Reading Challenge volunteers in Trowbridge and Chippenham libraries. She talks to us about the rewards and challenges of working with volunteers.
The number of children who completed the Summer Reading Challenge in Redbridge rose by 13% in 2013 and the extra support provided by volunteers was integral to this rise. By giving children that valuable one to one attention, volunteers improve the children's experience of the challenge and of reading.
Cornwall Council and Surrey County Council have been working with Summer Reading Challenge volunteers successfully for years. Numbers of volunteers in both councils are growing but it hasn't always been straightforward. Jaime Dowling, Young People's Services Project Officer in Cornwall and Carol Hales, Senior Team Officer - Children and Young People in Surrey, have both reported that in the beginning, they came up against some resistance from library staff.
The anniversary may have been and gone, but for real Dr Who fans that's no reason not to keep the fun happening. One of Warrington's Reading Activists, Will, devised this Dr Who library hunt for other young people in Warrington's libraries. Find out how to run the hunt in your library, and download the resources.
Hopefully your volunteers will gain many benefits from being part of your volunteering scheme: new skills, new friends and work experience being just a few. Find out more tips for recognising volunteers' work and links to accreditation schemes
Have you started recruiting volunteers for the Summer Reading Challenge? Check out some tips here. Recruiting young volunteers is part of marketing your library service. Volunteering roles need to be understandable, and designed to be attractive and fun for young people
For over a decade, the Summer Reading Challenge has been helping children to sustain and develop their reading over the long school holidays. The Challenge has grown year on year and now supports 750,000 children in the UK. The Summer Reading Challenge is so popular that it can be a struggle to staff the various activities required to make it a success.
We asked our amazing volunteers to act as StoryLab Reporters and write about their experiences of the project, sharing their stories, book reviews and top tips for running library events. Here are some of our favorite responses from our StoryLab Reporters...
Since summer 2010 Samuel has been a Summer Reading Challenge volunteer at Horsham Library in West Sussex. Here he tells us about his experiences as a volunteer, and explains how the project has helped him improve his CV and boost his confidence.
Jodie was a second year student at the University of Birmingham when she applied to be a Summer Reading Challenge volunteer at Dudley Libraries. Little did she know that her volunteering would help her secure a paid job.
We would like to give an enormous thank you and a virtual high-five to James, one of the volunteers at Padgate Library in Warrington. Over the course of the summer James clocked up an amazing 125 hours of good deeds in his local library!
Every year thousands of young people across the UK help their local communities by doing amazing voluntary work. However, this truth is often forgotten and these same generous and inspiring young people are often portrayed extremely negatively in the media.
This summer young people all around the UK have been helping with StoryLab activities in their local public libraries as part of the Summer Reading Challenge. Katie from Redhill has sent us some great new tips for StoryLab volunteers about different ways to get the most out of volunteering!
The number of young people aged 11 to 24 volunteering in their local library as part of the Summer Reading Challenge has risen by almost half.
Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd joined inspirational young volunteers at a reception at No. 11 Downing Street on 15 January, to celebrate this achievement and to encourage even more young people to share in the benefits of volunteering.
The Reading Agency's Director, Miranda McKearney, tells us why nothing makes her crosser than hearing people talk disparagingly about teenagers and highlights some examples of young volunteers doing amazing things in their communities.
The Reading Agency has today announced that it is working with local authority library services across the UK to create a "Youth Innovation Network" of librarians who together will generate thousands of new volunteering opportunities in public libraries for young people aged 11-25 years.