Inspiring the next generation of readers

Published: 11 May 2018

In July and August every year, our libraries across the county fill up with children taking part in The Summer Reading Challenge during their school holidays. Last year over 21,500 children signed up in Hertfordshire, and we are now seeking volunteers to support children during this year’s challenge, Mischief Makers.

Mischief Makers is inspired by the much-loved iconic children's title Beano, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. Children will explore a map of Beanotown to find the mysterious buried treasure and become ultimate mischief makers.

To complete the challenge and receive their medal and certificate, children read six library books and share their reading experience by talking with staff and volunteers about the library books they have been reading.

Hertfordshire Libraries are looking for volunteers to talk to families about Mischief Makers, sign children up, chat with them about their library books and celebrate their success by presenting them with medals and certificates at the end of the challenge. It’s a great opportunity for people of all ages to make a positive contribution to their local community and inspire children to keep reading.

We are particularly keen to recruit volunteers aged 14-24, to be “reading role models” for the children, but we welcome applications from volunteers of any age.

Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Libraries, said:

“Volunteers are an integral and vital part of the Summer Reading Challenge and the success of the programme year after year. With support from volunteers and particularly young people offering some of their time, the challenge can continue to grow and more children can improve their reading and literacy skills while having fun.”

Volunteers are asked to commit at least 12 hours of volunteering time over the Summer holidays (July and August) and some evenings or weekends in September for presentation ceremonies.

In most cases, volunteers will be placed at their nearest local library.

For further information and to register as a Summer Reading Challenge volunteer, please visit