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  • FIRST POST
    • MarkAlexander18
    • By MarkAlexander18 7th Mar 18, 11:59 AM
    • 37Posts
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    MarkAlexander18
    Do Libraries take on unemployed volunteers?
    • #1
    • 7th Mar 18, 11:59 AM
    Do Libraries take on unemployed volunteers? 7th Mar 18 at 11:59 AM
    Hi. Do Libraries take on volunteers who are unemployed but actively looking for work? I know that charity shops do take on jobseeking volunteers, but Libraries I do not know. Libraries seem a bit more strict in this regard, but obviously this is just a presumption on my part.
Page 1
    • kathrynha
    • By kathrynha 7th Mar 18, 12:02 PM
    • 2,161 Posts
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    kathrynha
    • #2
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:02 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:02 PM
    Our local library is a community one after the council wanted to close it the other year. It is totally run by volunteers.
    You need to check with your local libraries
    Weight loss start date: 3rd January 2017
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    • Ames
    • By Ames 7th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    • 17,229 Posts
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    Ames
    • #3
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    I've seen them listed on the volunteering website

    https://do-it.org/
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • MarkAlexander18
    • By MarkAlexander18 7th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    MarkAlexander18
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    Our local library is a community one after the council wanted to close it the other year. It is totally run by volunteers.
    You need to check with your local libraries
    Originally posted by kathrynha
    Okay thanks for the information. Do you know if you have to be experienced or particularly knowledgeable in a specific area? If the person is competent with computers, would this be sufficient?

    Sorry, not asking for myself btw.
    • Elona
    • By Elona 7th Mar 18, 12:44 PM
    • 184 Posts
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    Elona
    • #5
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:44 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:44 PM
    Mark

    Our local library provided a training course of a couple of hours once a week for a month.
    • MarkAlexander18
    • By MarkAlexander18 7th Mar 18, 12:54 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    MarkAlexander18
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:54 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:54 PM
    [QUOTE=Ames;73987859]I've seen them listed on the volunteering website

    Yes, I checked on there but no vacancies in my area. I think it may be best to find out via the library then. I just wanted to ask here in case anybody may have experience or knowledge of this. I have rarely seen Libraries posting volunteering opportunities online.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 7th Mar 18, 6:15 PM
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    Smodlet
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 18, 6:15 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 18, 6:15 PM
    I'd start by looking for a library that is still open.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 7th Mar 18, 6:55 PM
    • 8,328 Posts
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    pmduk
    • #8
    • 7th Mar 18, 6:55 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Mar 18, 6:55 PM
    OP, best to start asking in your local library, they will know what is needed locally and the relevant requirements. Their website might have details.
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 7th Mar 18, 7:14 PM
    • 1,274 Posts
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    Neil Jones
    • #9
    • 7th Mar 18, 7:14 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Mar 18, 7:14 PM
    I'd start by looking for a library that is still open.
    Originally posted by Smodlet
    Not really helpful in all honesty, the requirement for council to provide a library service is a statutory requirement. So there will be a library open somewhere in every council area.

    With regards to volunteering in the library, depends on the setup as how it works but realistically the work itself is not difficult. Basically boils down to shelving stock (in the right order by surname or Dewey code) in the right areas and just generally stand around looking keen and ready to help.
    • MarkAlexander18
    • By MarkAlexander18 7th Mar 18, 7:17 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    MarkAlexander18
    OP, best to start asking in your local library, they will know what is needed locally and the relevant requirements. Their website might have details.
    Originally posted by pmduk
    Okay. Do you think a Charity shop would be better than a Library in regards to volunteering hours? I would think a Library would rather a person volunteer for a whole day, one day per week, rather than 4 hours once a week.

    I am basically trying to help my cousin trying to get work, but he's been unemployed for a long period of time, lost some confidence and self belief, and obviously self esteem is low. He was considering either volunteering in a Charity shop or a Library and just needs the push to motivate him back into something.

    The issue I had with a Library is they might be more uncompromising when it comes to the amount of hours to volunteer. Whereas reading around, Charity shops are less so and don't mind if the person only does 4 hours per week for e.g.

    Do you think my presumption would be correct?
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 7th Mar 18, 10:20 PM
    • 1,274 Posts
    • 754 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    Personally I would say volunteer for something, anything. You never know where it may lead. I think IIRC you can volunteer up to 16hrs a week before you lose any of the benefit amount.

    Most libraries, being under financial pressure, will probably welcome your cousin with open arms as it were. The process of getting in though varies. You may have to go through the council's main offices rather than with the library direct but different councils (and libraries) work in different ways so you'd best contact your local council first and take it from there.

    Charity shops on the other hand will probably be more flexible but they will most probably have a high turnover of staff/volunteers and you may have to show you're interested in the charity as a whole and know about it to get them interested in you...
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 8th Mar 18, 7:51 AM
    • 8,328 Posts
    • 6,140 Thanks
    pmduk
    OP what does your cousin want to do? Either would be good, it depends on the venue, which has the best record with volunteers. A library which has only just started using volunteers may not be your best bet, you don't know how they're set up to deal with them.

    BHF is well-used to dealing with unemployed volunteers, but many, myself included, don't approve of their use of mandated jobseekers.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 8th Mar 18, 10:12 PM
    • 7,703 Posts
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    kingfisherblue
    It's many years since I volunteered in a library - I was 14, and went straight from school, two evenings a week. It was quite unusual in the mid 80s, but I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot, and it helped my confidence. I later worked in a bookshop, and enjoyed that even more.

    I still volunteer, although not in the library. I run Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. I've also volunteered in my childrens' schools, a special school (before my son started there), a community centre, and with groups for disabled children. It's a great way to build confidence, learn new skills, make new friends, and gain a recent reference.

    What does your cousin enjoy? I think that's important. It could be that a library is ideal for him, but there are so many other opportunities as well. It's worth him checking to see if there is a volunteer bureau in his area, and making an appointment. They can then discuss his interests and what vacancies they are aware of.

    The best of luck to him.
    • vjm63
    • By vjm63 9th Mar 18, 11:17 AM
    • 112 Posts
    • 245 Thanks
    vjm63
    Voluntary working in a library is becoming more common now than it was five or certainly ten years ago, because council cutbacks have reduced staff and other budgets so much. There can be issues over child protection, so a DBS is sometimes needed, but that is not a problem if the council / library service has got procedures in place for volunteers. They normally do have in my experience.

    As has been mentioned, quite a few actual libraries are now run by volunteers, with the management / stock / equipment etc provided by a mixture of sources such as county council, local town/community/parish council / a 'Friends' type group .... If that is the case locally, then they will usually welcome new volunteers in - a bigger pool helps cover when someone cannot do it for whatever reason. Only a few hours a week should not be much of a problem, either - sometimes the library itself is only open two to four hours a day, and only two or three days a week. Again, that could be due to lack of volunteers.

    Training should be given, and is not hard. If someone is IT competent, they can easily learn the computer system used. As has been said, otherwise it is shelving correctly, helping people who come in, answering the phone with queries or renewals, taking fines maybe ... and as a volunteer probably knowing who to refer things they cannot answer to (such as an involved local history query) - that would usually be the main county library.

    Well worth considering, and a good way to meet interesting people, work in the community, and build confidence, I would say. I am a qualified librarian with several decades experience and have worked with volunteers myself. I also asked about working voluntarily in a library after we moved so I had to quit my previous job - I ended up being employed!

    Short answer - nothing to lose, why not go into the local library and ask - staff can tell you what the local policy is, and if they are in need of volunteers, will really appreciate the question!
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