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Volunteering roles in libraries

Home library service/Reading Friends volunteers

Home library service /Reading Friends volunteers choose and deliver library materials to one or more library customers at home who have mobility difficulties or caring responsibilities that prevent them regularly visiting a library.


  • Choosing library materials for the customer, taking into account their personal preferences.
  • Call customer every 2 weeks to check in. You can give your phone number to your client (that is your choice) so they can contact you when they need new books. However the customer may well be a vulnerable adult who may not be assertive enough contact you, the responsibility lies with the HLS volunteer to maintain regular contact with the housebound customer (this should be on average every fortnight).
  • Delivering the materials to the customer’s home, at a mutually agreed time and frequency, usually once a month minimum.
  • Returning materials to the library.
  • Reserve items for customers either in the library or via the website.
  • Chat to your customer about books and other reading materials, using resources from the Reading Agency’s Reading Friends if required

Skills and experience

  • Friendly and patient manner.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to choose books and audio materials according to another’s preferences.
  • Reliable and punctual timekeeping.
  • Some experience working with the public an advantage.

Other information

  • We will train you.
  • If you use your car while volunteering for us, we pay mileage. Travel expenses of mileage costs at 45p a mile for travel away from your normal volunteering base will be refunded via a Volunteer Claim Form with receipts. Your car insurance needs to cover your volunteering activity.
  • Telephone expenses will also be refunded via a Volunteer Claim Form (if you do not have a free calls package). An itemised bill is required for this.
  • A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required for this role.
  • Library Volunteer badge given.
  • You will have a named library contact and opportunities to meet with other library volunteers.
  • The minimum age for role is 16 years.