This week is National Libraries Week. It’s a celebration of local libraries across the UK, and the essential role they play in their communities.
Libraries are especially valuable to young people. A recent report found that 15-24 year-olds use their local library more than any other age group, and for a whole range of different activities. They’re planning events, interviewing authors, running code clubs, reading together and getting more informed about their mental health.
“What makes my library special is that it is a social hub for the community. It is important to me because it has given me confidence and given me chances to do things I thought I would never do.
It has changed by life for the better by giving me the opportunity to attend events I would never have thought of going to and given me brilliant experiences. This year I was nominated for a local young volunteer award, which I won! I am so proud that the library nominated me and that I am appreciated for everything I do, when I get so much enjoyment from being involved and part of it all.”
“I volunteered as a Reading Hacker at Poole Central Library last year with a couple of my friends. We met up every Wednesday for an hour so I saw my local library lots! During that time we organised and publicised events; made props; fund raised money; read books and wrote reviews.
My favourite thing to do at my library is to browse the thousands of books on the shelves. The teenage area has also been recently done up so there’s lots of space for us. I’m so glad I signed up to volunteer there. The friends I made and the skills I gained were truly incredible!”
“I struggle with anxiety so doing the volunteer program was always going to be hard, but being a volunteer has helped me overcome my fears and given me the chance to learn about different parts of the library. I’m a young carer, and it just helps me to have that extra time to be myself when I volunteer, even if it’s just for two or three hours twice a week. To anyone who is thinking about volunteering in their library I would say, DO IT! You won’t regret it."
Want to volunteer? Ask at your local library about opportunities to join in.