Link to homepage

Library volunteers - you can make a difference

Libraries across North Yorkshire are looking for volunteers to help with a variety of duties. In return, they offer people the chance to make a positive difference in their local communities.

Volunteering to help with general library duties

Trained volunteers of all ages, abilities and experience can gain valuable work experience and learn new skills, with young people in particular able to add volunteering to their CV. More information on the pdf icon roles a volunteer may perform and the skills required can be found here [34kb].

There are a number of specific volunteer roles as shown in the role profiles below:

Library volunteers - role profiles

There are various types of voluntary work, suiting all interests and experience.

To apply for a volunteer role you can fill in our online application form.

Alternatively, please complete the word icon volunteer application form [53kb] and return this to:

Library volunteers
21 Grammar School Lane

You can also take it to your local library.

Volunteering to help the home library service

Volunteers need to be available to deliver the books on a set weekday, during the day, and it usually takes about two hours. We are often looking for volunteers to help organise the delivery rotas, too. You can contact the service at for more information and details about where volunteers are needed, or visit our libraries - home library service page. Your library can also provide more information.

Once you have expressed an interest in becoming a volunteer, we will meet to discuss the role in more detail and will ask you to fill in a registration form. We will also ask you to give details of two people (not relatives) who we can contact to ask for a character reference.

Many of the people using our service are vulnerable adults, so we have to carry out an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check before you can start volunteering. We are not able to accept CRB certificates from other organisations. You will attend a short induction and be paired with another volunteer and allocated a route. Usually, an existing volunteer will show you your new route and will introduce you to the people who use the service. Then you are ready to start delivering the books.

  • You need to be able to make a regular weekday commitment of about two hours, once a fortnight, on an agreed day;
  • You will visit the same people each time and we are looking for caring people who don't mind spending some time chatting to customers, many of whom are elderly and/or have a disability;
  • Each pair of volunteers usually visits between five and nine addresses, including residential or nursing homes;
  • Volunteers use their own cars and are paid out-of-pocket expenses. Many of the visits are in and around each town, but you may also travel to villages or hamlets;
  • Some people prefer to be relief volunteers, covering holidays etc; and
  • We sometimes also need help with administration and organising rotas.

Disclosure and barring service disclosures

All our volunteers must have a Disclosure and Barring Service (previously Criminal Records Bureau) check before they start volunteering. This involves disclosing all previous spent and unspent convictions. As part of this process, we will meet you face-to-face to carry out an identity check and will tell you what information you need to provide. The check will take four to six weeks and you will not be able to begin volunteering until you have been cleared. Having a criminal record is not an automatic bar to volunteering with us and each case is dealt with separately. All information is treated in strictest confidence.

Find out more

Anyone with questions about library volunteering can email or telephone 01609 533800. You can also drop into your library to ask about volunteering opportunities and the role of volunteers. pdf icon Read about the experiences of other volunteers [389kb] in the North Yorkshire library service.