Posted: Wednesday 31st May 2017
Community Libraries – a local volunteering success story continues
At Kings Langley and Goffs Oak Community Libraries, volunteers are now working alongside library staff from their buddy libraries (Hemel Hempstead and Hoddesdon respectively) to continue their training and to gain more experience of customer facing work at a community library.
In recent weeks, the committees at both Kings Langley and Goffs Oak have organised open evening meetings for their volunteers to share progress and to agree some of the ‘housekeeping’ arrangements for keeping the libraries open once the transition to volunteer led community library is complete. There is a real commitment to supporting the libraries in both these communities and at both meetings there was a lot of discussion and sharing of ideas as well as volunteers signing up to cover shifts in the libraries to continue their training.
At Wheathampstead Library, the committee hosted a successful open meeting for over 70 local residents and over 40 volunteers have since started their induction training with members of the Community Services Team. Volunteers will begin to start working alongside staff in the library very soon!
At London Colney Library a small cohort of volunteers have started their induction training and the next step will be to identify sessions when the volunteers can start to work alongside their local buddy library colleagues from St Albans Library.
By the end of May, the Community Services team will have delivered 35 induction sessions at the above four libraries, with another 9 sessions planned so far for June and July and we are confident there will be plenty more to come once even more volunteers are recruited!
This is all excellent progress and we are indebted to the generosity of the volunteers in giving their time and skills to these projects. At the end of May, we will reach the end of Hertfordshire County Council’s Year of Volunteering, so it is the perfect time to celebrate the work and commitment of all our community library committees and volunteers. As a new way of working for all of us, it has been an exciting time and heartening to see how many local people are now contributing to service delivery and adding value to library services.
LibraryLink – our innovative new video link technology for volunteers and customers in community libraries has also now been installed at all of these locations and is part of our ongoing training with volunteers.
The installation of new privacy booth furniture is also in progress, to give users of LibraryLink a degree of privacy and confidentiality when they contact our central Enquiry Team at Welwyn Garden City Library for help and assistance.
If you haven’t used this technology yet in any of the above library buildings, please come in and give it a try!
A volunteer at Goffs Oak being trained how to use the library self-service kiosk by a colleague from Hoddesdon Library.
If you would like to be involved in any of these projects, either by supporting your local steering group or committee, or by being trained to work on the front line to help and support library customers, please contact each of the local groups by the email addresses below:
Redbourn - email@example.com
Chorleywood - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kings Langley – email@example.com
Goffs Oak firstname.lastname@example.org
London Colney – email@example.com
Wheathampstead - firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling all students!
Worried about what to do with your long summer holidays?
Why not volunteer at your local library and help with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge: Animal Agents. Gain lots of valuable experience for job and uni applications and have fun!
If you are aged 14+ you could help make this year our most successful yet.
Visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/srcvolunteers for more information and to register.