Arts Article

Community Library Volunteers

by Gemma Mond on
Community Library Volunteers - Lincolnshire Magazine -

Community library volunteers say they get even more back than they put into helping out at their local branch.

The success story at Branston Community Library continues, thanks to its team of 28 volunteers.

They’re among over 900 in Lincolnshire giving up a few hours per week at 34 “hub” – or community – libraries.

Making sure that the Branston hub runs smoothly, and offers much more than just a book service, is volunteer co-ordinator Lesa Appleyard.

“Our library would literally not be able to function without our all-important volunteers,” she said.

“At the moment, we have a small waiting list of volunteers, but we would never turn anyone away, because there’s always a way they can help us.”

Branston Volunteers

Two of the Branston volunteers, Tony Hancock and John Ford, insist that whatever they might give to the community hub, they get back even more.

“I saw an advert saying the library was in danger of closing down if enough volunteers could not be found,” explained Tony.

“I’ve always loved books and reading so I came forward to help out. I now do two and a half hours a week, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.

“It’s not just a case of me helping the library. I’ve benefitted enormously, too. I’ve met some great people, who are now very good friends. I cannot praise volunteering enough – I love it.”

Tony’s library colleague John Ford says volunteering has enabled him to hone his computer skills. He is now confident in using a smartphone – something he wouldn’t have considered before.

“I started volunteering three and a half years ago and I was welcomed with open arms,” John said.

“I love the fact that there’s such a mix of people who come through the door. It makes for an interesting day and you meet some lovely people.”

About the library service

The 34 community libraries in Lincolnshire are supported by GLL, a charitable social enterprise. In addition to the hubs, there are 15 core libraries managed by it on behalf of the county council, as well as a mobile service for rural communities.

To find out about volunteering opportunities, please just call at your local library and ask! Find out more about what Lincolnshire libraries have to offer. 

Praise for volunteers

Branston Community Library is just one of the community hubs across Lincolnshire enjoying a new lease of life with the help of volunteers.

Head of culture Will Mason said: “Lincolnshire has a great tradition of volunteering and community spirit, and we’re seeing that in action across the library service.

“I’d like to thank every single person who gives up their time to make a difference. Your efforts are really appreciated in your local communities.”