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Library volunteers

People putting their hands up to be library volunteers. You can volunteer at your local library to make a positive difference in your local community.

You can choose from a range of opportunities which require different skills and different levels of commitment. View current volunteering opportunities with the library along with the skills and hours needed below.

Apply to be a library volunteer

Anyone can apply to be a library volunteer. If you're under 16 years old, we'll ask for your parent or guardian's permission.

To apply to be a library volunteer:

  1. Complete the library volunteer application form below. If you're under 16 years old, your parent or guardian will need to sign one section of the form to give their permission for you to volunteer. 
  2. Email your completed form to us at library.service@rochdale.gov.uk or hand it in at your local library.
  3. Once we've received your form, we aim to get in touch with you within 7 working days to arrange a time for you to meet with us at the library. When you meet with us, we'll discuss:
    • Your expectations for volunteering.
    • How we'll support and train you.
    • If the volunteering role is right for you.
  4. If we agree the role is right for you, we'll contact your referees to ask for a reference. If your skills or experience don't match the role, we'll try to suggest some other opportunities for you.
  5. If you'll be working with under 18s or vulnerable adults, we may ask you to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  6. Once the DBS check and references are completed, we'll agree a date for your training and induction. 
Library volunteer application form (180kb pdf)

Current library volunteering opportunities

View our current library volunteering opportunities.

Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival is an annual event which takes place over 8 days to promote literature, drama, music, comedy, current affairs, creative writing and spoken word. More about Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival

What will I be doing?

You'll help the smooth running of Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival events by:

  • Welcoming festival attendees and checking their tickets
  • Directing ticketholders to their seats
  • Dealing with general enquiries
  • Managing queues, such as for book signings
  • Assisting with setting up events
  • Helping to tidy up after events and assisting with audience exits
  • Gathering feedback following festival events

What skills or experience do I need?

This role would suit someone who enjoys meeting new people, understands the value of good customer service and wants to go above and beyond to provide a vital role in the success of Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival.

How much time do I need to give?

You'll need to be available between Monday, 14 October 2019 and Monday, 21 October 2019 inclusive. You'll need to give approximately 2.5hours of your time for each event.

Which library will I volunteer at?

You'll be volunteering at Rochdale Central Library at Number One Riverside and also at key festival locations around Rochdale town centre. For example, Rochdale Town Hall, St Chad's Church, Rochdale Sixth Form College and Touchstones.

Woman helping a man on a computer in a library.

All our libraries offer FREE internet access and computer facilities.

What will I be doing?

You'll support people who need help using the computers in the library. You'll support them with whatever they need help with, such as:

  • Emails
  • Microsoft Word
  • Printing
  • Using the internet

What skills or experience do I need?

If you'd like to be a computer support volunteer, you'll need to have:

  • An interest in IT
  • Good communication skills
  • Good computer skills 

How much time do I need to give?

You'll spend 1-4 hours a week as a computer support volunteer.

Which library will I volunteer at?

You can be a computer support volunteer at any library in the borough.

Woman reading a story to some children in a library.

We run regular storytime sessions at a number of libraries in the borough where children listen to stories and then complete an activity based on the story.

What will I be doing?

You will help library staff run the storytime session by:

  • Meeting and greeting children, parents and carers
  • Reading aloud to children
  • Overseeing craft activities
  • Assisting in preparing and clearing up activities
  • Chatting with children and their parents or carers before and after a session

What skills or experience do I need?

You don't need any specific skills or experience to be a storytime volunteer as we'll provide you with training in all aspects of the volunteering role.

This volunteering opportunity, however, would suit someone who enjoys reading aloud to children and is friendly and lively. 

How much time do I need to give?

Storytime sessions are 1 or 2 hours long and take place at the same time every week or every fortnight.

You'll need to commit to a group of sessions and stay for the whole duration.

Which library will I volunteer at?

We run storytime sessions at a number of different libraries in the borough.

Please contact us to find out where the current sessions are held. We can work together on where the best fit would be for you. In some cases, we may create a new storytime session at your preferred library.

Summer Reading Challenge logo. Every year, during the school's summer holidays, we run a Summer Reading Challenge for children to get involved in.

What will I be doing?

You'll spend your summer at the library:

  • Encouraging children to join the challenge
  • Registering children for the challenge
  • Encouraging children to discuss what they have been reading
  • Explaining to children and their parents and carers how to take part
  • Assisting with events and library promotions
  • Handing out rewards as necessary
  • Assisting with administration tasks

What skills or experience do I need?

You'll need to have good communication skills and like talking to children about reading.

How much time do I need to give?

You'll need to be available during the school's summer holidays to come in to help. This is a flexible opportunity which can work around your availability.

Which library will I volunteer at?

You can be a Summer Reading Challenge volunteer at any library in the borough.

Reading group discussing a book while sat in a circle.

We hold regular reading groups at some of our libraries where adults meet to discuss books.

What will I be doing?

As a reading group volunteer, you'll mostly:

  • Assist in preparing and clearing up after the reading group
  • Welcome participants
  • Facilitate sessions and encourage participation
  • Work with the group to decide on future books to read
  • Liaise with staff to obtain enough copies of the chosen titles

What skills or experience do I need?

This role would suit someone who has a love of reading, the desire and knowledge to pass this on to other group members and the commitment to run sessions on a regular basis.

How much time do I need to give?

Reading groups are run once a month and last for 1-2 hours.

Which library will I volunteer at?

We run reading groups at a number of different libraries in the borough.

Please contact us to find out where the current groups are held. We can work together on where the best fit would be for you. In some cases, we may create a new reading group at your preferred library.

Children gathered round a laptop.

Code Club is a nationwide network of free volunteer-led coding lessons for children aged 9-11 years old.

What will I be doing?

As a Code Club volunteer, you'll:

  • Supervise children when they're at the club.
  • Present workshops to groups of children using Scratch and Python.
  • Work with children in small groups on specific projects.
  • Promote the Code Club.  

What skills or experience do I need?

If you'd like to a Code Club volunteer, you'll need to:

  • Be confident with computers.
  • Have the patience, enthusiasm and communication skills to encourage a joy of digital making.
  • Be friendly and welcoming.
  • Have a non-judgemental attitude. 

You don't have to be a coding genius to volunteer as most clubs start with simple programs, such as Scratch. But you do need to be willing to learn.

How much time do I need to give?

Code Clubs are 1 or 2 hours long and take place at the same time every week, fortnight or month.

You'll need to commit to a group of sessions and stay for the whole duration.

Which library will I volunteer at?

We run Code Clubs at a number of libraries in the borough.

Please contact us to find out where the current groups are held. We can work together on where the best fit would be for you. In some cases, we may create a new Code Club at your preferred library.

Adult and child building Lego on the floor.

We hold regular Lego Clubs where children aged 5-12 can get creative and build something with Lego.

What will I be doing?

As a Lego Club volunteer, you'll:

  • Assist families with building Lego.
  • Encourage members to create projects both individually and in a group.
  • Help set up and tidy away the materials.
  • Oversee the sessions.

What skills or experience do I need?

If you'd like to be a Lego Club volunteer, you'll need to:

  • Have the patience, enthusiasm and communication skills to encourage a joy of Lego building.
  • Enjoy creating projects.
  • Be imaginative, creative and a good team player.
  • Be friendly and welcoming.
  • Have a non-judgemental attitude.

How much time do I need to give?

Lego Clubs are an hour long and take place at the same time every week, fortnight or month.

You'll need to commit to a group of sessions and stay for the whole duration.

Which library will I volunteer at?

We run Lego Clubs at a number of different libraries in the borough.

Please contact us to find out where the current clubs are held. We can work together on where the best fit would be for you. In some cases, we may create a new Lego Club at your preferred library.

Our Fit, Feed and Read Programme offers a mixture of reading and sporty activities. It's aimed at children 5-11 years old. More about the Fit, Feed and Read Programme

What will I be doing?

As a Fit, Feed and Read Programme volunteer, you'll:

  • Register children for the programme
  • Set up and clear away resources used for activities
  • Help give out food
  • Encourage children to take part and progress during the programme
  • Talk to children about what they're reading

What skills or experience do I need?

If you'd like to be a Fit, Feed and Read Programme volunteer, you'll need to:

  • Be able to arrange items in numerical and alphabetical order
  • Be physically able to push, bend, stretch, reach and lift
  • Be neat and have an attention to detail
  • Have the patience, enthusiasm and communication skills to encourage a love of sports and reading
  • Be friendly and welcoming
  • Have a non-judgemental attitude

How much time do I need to give?

You'll need to be available during the school's summer holiday as this is when the programme takes place. This is a flexible opportunity which can work around your availability.

Which library will I volunteer at?

You can be a Fit, Feed and Read volunteer at the following libraries:

  • Balderstone Library
  • Darnhill Library
  • Junction Community Library
  • Langley Library
  • Smallbridge Library

Contact

0300 303 8876

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Did you know?

Joining a library is FREE. You can join any library in England and Wales to use their facilities.

So, if you can't find it with us, take a look at the services on offer at a different library.

Join Rochdale borough libraries

It only takes a couple of minutes to join the library online. You can use your library membership to:

  • Download the latest eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines to your smartphone, tablet or desktop.
  • Reserve and renew books.
  • Choose from thousands of great books and audiobooks.
  • Access a range of online resources.
  • Borrow items from any library in the Greater Manchester Consortium.

Please remember to bring identification when you first visit the library to borrow items - for example, utility bill, driving licence or bank statement.

Join the library