Sixteen year old Mahnoor was a regular user of Gants Hill library in Redbridge. Then, one day, the library manager asked her if she'd like to volunteer for the library helping with the Summer Reading Challenge. That was the start of a journey that would provide Mahnoor with a wealth of experiences and set her on the path of her chosen career.
Mahnoor enjoyed listening to children read and helping them to choose books. She also enjoyed becoming part of the library team.
"It was great to meet new people and members of staff. The library has a very friendly atmosphere."
As well as enjoying herself, Mahnoor found that she was gaining valuable skills for the future.
"I've learnt good communication skills, how to deal with the public - because you deal with different types of people - and problem solving techniques."
From volunteer to paid staff member
Two years later, when a vacancy in the library came up, she decided to apply.
"I thought it would be great to carry on the experience, to continue working with the public and see what it was like in the profession itself rather than just as a volunteer."
Mahnoor was called to interview, and got the job. She was really pleased to have a position working in the library and being in a learning environment, something she had come to enjoy.
"The library is a place where people come to study and revise for exams. I enjoy seeing all these people come to achieve things for the future."
Looking to the future
She was also thinking about her own future. A career in banking was beckoning and she realised that the experience she was gaining through working in the library would be perfect for her chosen career.
"All these things I'm learning from the library are actually things that I need to get into banking, like dealing with the public, working with computers and money handling. It's great that I have all this experience, and banks I'm looking into have taken this into account."
Mahnoor plans to continue working in the library while she pursues her chosen career. She is already looking forward to the next Summer Reading Challenge.
Find out how to become a young volunteer for the 2014 Summer Reading Challenge and get involved.