Volunteering at Norfolk libraries

Volunteers help our library service to continue to develop activities and to support reading and learning. You can meet new people, learn new skills, gain confidence and give something back to the community, all in a friendly environment.

We will offer:

  • Flexible but regular opportunities
  • A variety of volunteering opportunities - something to suit everyone
  • A welcome and an introduction to the organisation and the volunteer role
  • Training, support and encouragement in the role
  • A chance to be part of a team

What we expect from volunteers:

  • Be available to lead a session at the times agreed and let us know if you are not going to be available
  • Maintain the standards of the library service, including health and safety, equal opportunities, data protection and confidentiality
  • Take part in any training needed
  • Be fair to others working in the library
  • Talk to a supervisor about any problems

How to volunteer

Some of our current opportunities are listed below with a link to a form for you to register your interest in volunteering. 

What happens after I register my interest?

We'll ask you to complete an application form and you'll need to give us the names of two people we can contact for references.

If you'll be working with under 18s or vulnerable adults we'll also ask you to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

When we've received your application form we’ll have a discussion with you about the role. We'll talk to you about:

  • Your expectations
  • How we will support you
  • If this is the right role for you

If we agree that the role is suitable, we'll keep in touch while we get references and apply for the DBS check if necessary. If your skills or experience don't match the role, we'll try to suggest some other opportunities for you.

Finally we'll agree dates for training and induction and a start date.

Register your interest

Find out about other volunteer posts

Current roles

Reading Friends brings people together to read, share stories, meet new friends and have fun. We use reading – whether books, magazines, newspapers, or anything else – to start everyone chatting.
You don’t have to be an expert in literature to take part. All that’s needed is a love of reading and a desire to help people feel less isolated at the current time.

At Home with Reading Friends expands on our current Reading Friends sessions to support people with an early diagnosis of dementia and their carers on a one to one basis. The Covid-19 outbreak has been a particularly isolating time for many people. Those who are living with the early stages of dementia have lost a lot of the support networks they may have had previously. For carers it is also a time where they will have reduced support networks and increased periods of isolation.

We are also looking to recruit volunteers with a language other than English as their first language. This will enable us to offer the service to customers who might otherwise struggle to access these sessions due to a language barrier.
Norfolk Library and Information Service run regular Bounce and Rhyme Time sessions. We are looking for volunteers with an interest in helping children to enjoy songs, stories and rhymes to help us on a regular basis. No experience is necessary, just enthusiasm and an enjoyment of singing and sharing stories with children.

Volunteers will help to prepare songs, stories and rhymes to share with children and their parents. Sessions normally last 20 minutes and are currently delivered in a socially distanced way.

The aim of the role is to deliver an interactive session which promotes reading and an enjoyment of books to early years children and their families.

We will provide training to enable you to take on this role and volunteer safely within the role.
We are looking for volunteers to lead an online code club for children. Experience of coding is not essential - the most important attribute is an enthusiasm for helping children build new coding skills. Volunteers without coding experience will be able to work through online materials in advance of sessions to develop their own skills. Each session normally lasts one hour and is delivered online to a small group of children. The sessions are always co-hosted by a member of library staff.

The sessions make use of Scratch, an intuitive programming language designed by the MIT Media Lab to promote coding to a very young audience. Materials and training are available at www.codeclub.org.uk.
Colour me calm is a group where adults come together and colour, allowing social connectivity. Studies show the activity of colouring reduces stress and anxiety by relaxing the fear centre of the brain. It has similar effects to meditating, therefore allowing a person to experience mindfulness and calm.

Volunteers are needed to help set up the session, welcome and support customers who are taking part, and tidy up afterwards. You will also help to monitor the equipment and supply of colouring sheets.

Norfolk Library and Information Service has a core aim of supporting IT literacy. To support the work that we do in this area, we set up a volunteer role to help customers gain access to targeted support with basic IT queries. We are looking for volunteers to help customers on a one-to-one basis within our libraries, helping them to work through modules on the Learn My Way website.

The role will involve:

  • Providing guidance on using the internet safely
  • Helping with basic computer queries on topics such as using the internet, basic word processing and using email
  • Helping others continue to build confidence once they have completed training modules online

Volunteers are not expected to be an expert in all these areas but the materials available on the Learn My Way website can be used to guide a customer through the subject and increase their knowledge and confidence in a selected area.

Friends of the Library are groups of volunteers dedicated to enhancing the Norfolk Library and Information Service.  As members of the Norfolk community, their mission is to engage with the community and raise money to fund specific projects or to equip our library with new materials, furniture or collections.

Donations to the Friends of the Library support the library’s vital role to the community and supplement the library’s books, music and film collections, programmes and services.

In becoming a Friend of the Library, we would like people to come up with creative ideas and events to fundraise for their library, and to give their local library feedback on their services.

We are looking for volunteers to run homework clubs in our libraries. These clubs provide children with a safe and comfortable study environment. It helps them to feel supported by studying with others and gives them access to resources that may not be available to them at home.

The homework clubs are part of our after-school offer for children and young people and forms part of our ambition to support the communities affected most by covid.

Norfolk Library and Information Service are looking for volunteers to offer support to job seekers within their local community. The role will involve:

  • Helping customers with basic IT queries such as form filling
  • Supporting customers with registering on the Universal Job Match website
  • Signposting customers to books and resources aimed at job seekers
  • Helping customers complete Learn My Way modules to improve their IT skills

Volunteers will need to have good communication skills and wish to support people who are currently unemployed. They will have confidence in working with a wide range of adults with different learning needs.

We are looking for volunteers to host a Just a Cuppa session within a library or in one of our library gardens.

Each session normally lasts an hour. The sessions are aimed at reducing loneliness and isolation across Norfolk and support Norfolk County Council’s In Good Company campaign.

The library service is currently unable to provide refreshments, so customers and volunteers are asked to bring their own drinks along to the session.

Volunteers offer support in running Lego themed activities within the library, usually on a weekly basis. While offered to all, this is a particularly good role for young volunteers.
#LiveReadNorfolk gives children aged 8-12 an opportunity to hear a story read aloud suitable for their age. The aim of the sessions is to change the atmosphere around reading to older children and promote the benefits of this shared activity.

The purpose of this volunteer role is to support the libraries with the delivery of this important programme of work.

The Royal Voluntary Service Home Library Service

The Home Library Service provides delivery of library materials to members of the community unable to visit the library due to age, disability or restricted mobility.

Visit the Royal Voluntary Service website if you would like to volunteer to help deliver the Home Library Service. 

We want to engage with as many young people as possible to give them opportunities to develop a love of reading. Reading for pleasure can help young people’s emotional development, academic achievement and promotes wellbeing. The annual Summer Reading Challenge (SRC) is fun, it creates a buzz around reading, it prevents a dip in literacy over the long summer break and helps us reach out to more children and young people. This year we are aiming to sign 10,000 children up to the challenge.

You will be working in a library supporting staff by:

  • Helping with sign-ups to the challenge and answering questions about it
  • Talking to children about the challenge, the books they are reading, and encouraging them to continue
  • Helping to give out the rewards and sign children up for medal ceremonies
  • Supporting staff to deliver activities related to the SRC

The SRC runs for the period of the school summer holidays. Our busiest day is usually launch day, which will be Saturday 23 July for most libraries. The day(s) that you volunteer are up to you.

You will be provided with training and support from the library staff/manager and you will not be left alone in a library.

This role is aimed at young people aged between 12-16. Though young volunteers over the age of 16 are welcome to apply.

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