Library where I am volunteering: Redhill Library
Best thing about volunteering for StoryLab: The best thing about volunteering for StoryLab has to be the invaluable work experience I have gained, and feeling like I have played a vital role in helping my local library. It's also a bonus that it looks good on a CV.
A Summer/StoryLab Story - Partly based on real life...
I could see the rain pouring down outside, making the gutters overflow and causing a river to flow into the blocked drains. This was the beginning of summer 2012, the summer of the London Olympics and the national reading challenge StoryLab! I was stuck inside for the moment, with nothing to do, as all of my plans had been cancelled. Didn't look like Thorpe Park was happening anytime soon. Stupid rain. I had tickets to watch the Olympics and everything. That'll be great for the athletes in this wonderful English weather!
Grabbing a waterproof coat, I walked out the door. I was off to find out more about being a volunteer for StoryLab. Maybe I could give up a few hours of this dull summer to help out at the local library? Great, the bus is 10 minutes late, as usual, and the rain has become torrential. The day wasn't looking great so far.
I jumped off the bus and ran up the stairs to the library, fighting the urge to buy some junk food to warm me up on the way. As I arrived I spoke to some of the staff at the library, who were all friendly and welcoming. After filling in a few bits of paperwork, I was given a green t-shirt, and told I was now a volunteer. Finally, I was out of my damp clothes and had something to do with my morning!
Sitting at a little blue desk, surrounded by children's books, one named 'poo,' I was approached by a handful of children, all very excited that they had read two books, earning them a bronze prize! Handing them a sticker set and a bookmark, I felt proud that I was doing something useful with my spare time. As the children eagerly ran off to find some new books to read, I told the parents about some of the activities taking place throughout the summer, to keep their children, and them, entertained. I had a great response, so I hoped that I'd see them at the next StoryLab activity, ready to get involved.
Walking out of the library after two hours of helping, the sun had finally shown his face, just in time for the Olympics! I really felt like I was doing something useful and helpful with my spare time, and it was inspiring to see some of the very young kids, many just four years old, reading books so eagerly. I'd be sure to come back again, even if Team GB were winning more gold medals!
Like to do some volunteering at your local library? Find out more about Reading Activists and what you can do for yourself and for your local community.