Home Leisure and Culture Libraries Volunteering with Libraries

Thank you to all the brilliant volunteers who have given their time to help in our libraries over the past year.

We are sorry we can’t see you at the moment but please know how much we value your help and we hope to see you as soon as it is safe to do so.

Also, a huge "thank you!" to all those volunteers currently helping to make a difference at this challenging time. If you’d like to volunteer too, visit the NCVS Nottingham website to see how to get involved.

If you have been thinking about volunteering with Nottingham City Libraries in the future you can find out what sort of opportunities we offer below. Why not get updates on the whole library service direct to your inbox with our email newsletter? Then you will know when we are ready to start taking on volunteers again.

Sign up to the Library Newsletter here

We are grateful all year round to volunteers who support Nottingham City Libraries.


Volunteering increases people's skills and experience.

It makes a difference in local communities across the City. 

What to expect

  • A quality induction
  • Relevant training
  • Ongoing support from a named person
  • Opportunities to meet with fellow volunteers
  • Annual celebration event
  • We value our volunteers’ opinions and ideas through feedback and consultation

How to apply

In the current situation re Coronavirus (COVID-19) we are unable to offer opportunities to our existing volunteers or take on new helpers. Please sign up to the library newsletter (see above) or keep checking back here for when we can. Thanks!

“I enjoy the chance to meet a range of interesting people and the challenge to make their experience interesting, helpful and enjoyable”

 “There is so much to be gained from volunteering, and after many years of retirement it is great to be valued again, to learn new skills, meet new people of different generations, share experiences and expertise and feel that one is being physically and mentally challenged”

 “I like feeling like I'm making a difference. Over several years, you build up a relationship with the community and it is also a nice break from my everyday life”

 “I really enjoy being involved in the activities which have been interesting and varied, and it is very rewarding to see the children and parents' enjoyment.  I also enjoy feeling part of the process to promote and encourage people to use libraries, having a sociable and rewarding role working alongside such lovely and supportive library staff, and feeling valued.”


Future opportunities 

Listed below are the roles we can offer, sign up to our newsletter for monthly alerts about new opportunities as they come up and general library news.

Role: After-school Activities Helper

Make a positive contribution to a young person’s education and confidence by supporting our after school activities using library resources (books, computers, games etc) in our safe, welcoming spaces.

Key Tasks

Set up sessions with appropriate materials and clear away at the end
Encourage and support pupils to develop their reading and literacy skills, understand their homework, and use their own initiative
Listen to children read, help understand the text, and encourage them to engage with a wide variety of reading materials
Encourage participation in games which can help improve memory, strategic thinking, problem solving, and communication skills

What are we looking for:

An encouraging, non-judgemental person with good spoken and written English and a genuine interest in supporting young people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and situations
A regular commitment to at least one term-time session between 3.30 to 5.30pm
A DBS check will be carried out for this role
For more information about the activities and where they take place visit the Library for 5-11 years page.

The exciting Chai Experience project aims to celebrate and showcase Nottingham’s Asian Social Heritage in the 50s and 60s.

Volunteers will support and encourage people to share their personal experiences and memorabilia of life in Nottingham.  The 18 month project will run at 4 libraries; Central, Wollaton, Dales Centre (Sneinton) and Hyson Green and will form a collection of resources for our Local Studies department.

Key Tasks

Encourage people to chat and discuss their experiences of life in Nottingham
Support any language barriers to enable individuals to take part in conversations
Ensure individuals are motivated and encourage future attendance and engagement with the project
Act as an advocate for the project
Support individuals to fill in any paperwork required as part of the project to capture memories or to acknowledge donations of material
Contribute to the identification and recording of heritage material
Support the project team with the interpretation of material within the Local Studies Library (Full training and support provided for this element)

What are we looking for

Good communication skills with the ability to support language barriers
Interest in Heritage/ Asian Heritage
An organised, reliable team player
Commitment to one venue with a minimum attendance of 4  x 2 hour workshops. Dates TBC
Able to support end of project celebration events

Role: Community Gardener


A rewarding opportunity to help maintain one or more of our library gardens. To use your creativity to make them accessible, inviting and enjoyable environments for local people. We have outdoor spaces at these libraries: Aspley, Basford, Bilborough, Dales Centre, Meadows, Radford-Lenton and Wollaton.

Key Tasks

Maintain garden with weeding and planting, keeping it tidy, safe and attractive
Share ideas with library staff and seek donations of seeds, plants and equipment for the gardens
What are we looking for:

A friendly person with some gardening knowledge and skills
Organised and reliable and able to use own initiative
Able to commit to maintaining at least one library garden regularly (ideally weekly or fortnightly)

Role: English Conversation Group Facilitator

Support and encourage people from different cultures to improve their spoken English skills and to help them integrate with the City through stimulating and varied conversation

Key Tasks

Plan and deliver weekly sessions using a wide range of appropriate discussion topics and materials
Complete and submit basic weekly attendance records to help monitor and develop the service

What we are looking for

A non-judgemental, open-minded and friendly person with good spoken English and the ability to encourage people from all communities
Ongoing commitment to at least one of the following weekly sessions:
Mondays 12.30pm to 3 pm at Dales Centre Library

Thursdays 2.15pm to 4.30pm at Nottingham Central Library

Role: Home Library Service Volunteer

Enable people to enjoy books, film, or music once they are unable to visit their local library for reasons such as disability, mobility, illness, or caring responsibilities

Key Tasks

Deliver books, music, films and information to people in areas of Nottingham City
Take time to discuss with the customer what further books, music, films etc they would like, giving any suggestions or ideas

What are we looking for

A friendly, enthusiastic and reliable person who can communicate with a diverse range of people
We are particularly interested in people who have fluency in other languages that represent the diversity of Nottingham
Ability to commit to at least 1 round per every 3 weeks (various times available) for 6 months or more
A DBS check is required for this role
Information about the Home Library Service is featured on our Accessible Library page.

Role: Language Café Volunteer

Support and encourage Nottingham’s diverse communities to learn and develop new languages, share knowledge, and meet new people in a relaxed, inclusive environment.

Key Tasks

Prepare the room with refreshments, books etc and clear up at the end of the session
Welcome new members, match them appropriately based on chosen language and teach and converse with participants using your language skills
What are we looking for:

An encouraging, non-judgemental person with good spoken English and a genuine interest in supporting people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and situations
Minimum 3 month commitment, for at least one Saturday afternoon per month from 12.45 to 3.15pm at Nottingham Central Library

General volunteer enquiry email 



Duke of Edinburgh award placements

Libraries are keen to support young people working towards their Bronze and Silver awards.

We can accommodate one young person per library at a time so cannot always guarantee a placement. To apply please download and complete the Duke of Edinburgh Application Form.

or get in touch via email for more information: library.volunteer@nottinghamcity.gov.uk