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Volunteering roles in libraries

Reading mentor

The Step into Reading project is designed to support those with a low level of reading skill or Dyslexia to follow a structured and guided approach to learning to read.

As a reading mentor you will support emergent readers aged 16 and over by offering mentoring support and the use of one-to-one phonics-based teaching.

The role requires good interpersonal skills and enthusiasm to help support others in a patient and friendly manner.


  • To undertake an induction to learn more about the volunteering programme and the needs of readers with Dyslexia/low reading skills
  • To commit to a weekly session of 1 hour with a learner/s to help them to work through the Yes We Can Read workbook
  • To listen to feedback from the learner and encourage them to work at a pace they feel comfortable with
  • To encourage the learner to pursue their reading outside of the session, encouraging them to choose material to read over the week which is suited to their current reading level – library staff may also be able to offer guidance to materials available such as texts aimed at different reading level and later ‘easy reads’.
  • To show the learner additional resources such as reading apps available, where this is identified as a useful tool to practice with

Skills and experience

  • Strong communication skills
  • A willingness to help others to learn to read
  • Patience, good listening skills and a caring nature
  • Prior experience of supporting learners is not essential as the reading workbook presents a pathway for volunteers to help support learners

Other information

  • An induction to the role and initial guidance on using the resources will be given
  • Minimum age for this role is 18 years