Community Library Support Volunteer

Role description for Community Library Support volunteers.

The purpose of the Community Library Support Volunteer role is to help members of the public visiting the library and to assist in library routines.

The role requires:

  • literacy and numeracy
  • being comfortable using IT
  • good communication and interpersonal skills
  • good organisational skills
  • the ability to work with minimal supervision
  • being adaptable to changes in ways of working
  • being physically fit for moving library resources and able to be on your feet for long periods.

The ideal volunteer will:

  • be happy to engage with a variety of people of all ages, including families and young children
  • demonstrate patience and understanding
  • be committed to the equality and diversity of the local community
  • enjoy working with people as part of a team
  • enjoy reading and finding out information
  • be aged 18 or above.

Your duties will be to provide a service to library customers by:

  • helping customers to use self-service kiosks
  • assisting customers to locate required library items
  • providing information about library services
  • notifying customers of the arrival of requested items
  • helping with book maintenance
  • maintaining displays and book sales
  • supporting library activities such as children's groups (this is an optional part of the role).

You will aid the operation of the library by:

  • shelving resources and general tidying
  • checking shelves for requested items and books that will be moving to other libraries
  • supporting and assisting library staff in the operation of the library
  • providing ideas and suggestions to improve library services.

Time required

The usual commitment is one four-hour session per week. More or less frequent attendance can be considered depending upon the situation.

Guidance and support

All library volunteers are given a local contact who can provide additional support and information. At least one library assistant will be on duty with you in the library. Additional support will always be available either in the library or by phone to another library.

Training and equipment

Community library support volunteers receive induction training, including health and safety. Skills will be learnt by shadowing experienced library assistants or other volunteers. Further training is provided when routines change and refresher training is also available. Additional training is organised periodically for those who wish to participate.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

This role does not require a DBS check.


One reference will be required before you are accepted for the role. This must be someone who has known you in a personal, work or voluntary capacity for at least three years.

Other information

All volunteers must sign a volunteer agreement. You may be required to carry out a practical exercise relevant to the role before starting.

Volunteers are required to wear a lanyard and volunteer photo ID badge while in the library. You must also sign the attendance sheet on arrival and departure.

All volunteers are encouraged to become a member of West Sussex Library Service and subscribe to the Volunteer eNewsletter. This will help you to keep up to date with your role and the latest library news.

Last updated:
27 October 2023
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