Reading Group Volunteer

Role description for Reading Group volunteers.

The purpose of the Reading Group Volunteer role is to assist West Sussex Library Service to promote books and reading to others. These volunteers host, lead and manage a reading group in the library.

The role requires:

  • good communication and interpersonal skillsĀ 
  • excellent organisational skills
  • the ability to lead a small group (between 6-14 members).

The ideal volunteer will:

  • enjoy communicating and spending time with people
  • be interested in books and reading
  • demonstrate patience, understanding and diplomacy
  • be welcoming to new group members
  • be aged 18 or above.

Your duties will be to:

  • schedule dates for regular meetings and ensure that a meeting space is available in the library
  • inform members of the group of the books chosen and dates of meetings
  • ensure the group chooses the books for each meeting, with advice from your named library staff contact if required
  • lead discussions or delegate this to another group member
  • organise and serve refreshments, or delegate to another volunteer/group member
  • collect money for refreshments from group members when required
  • attend each meeting or delegate responsibilities to another volunteer or reading group member if unable to attend
  • communicate with your library staff contact regularly about the group, including any problems or queries.

Time required

Most reading groups meet approximately every four weeks. Some time may be required between meetings to manage books and communicate with the group.

Guidance and support

Normally at least one member of library service staff will be on duty with you in the library. Some groups meet in libraries when they are closed, but access to support will always be available, either on site or by telephone to another library. All library volunteers are given a local contact who can provide additional support and information.

Training and equipment

Reading group volunteers receive induction training, including health and safety. 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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