Following National Volunteer Week last week Medway Council is encouraging young people to volunteer at their local library.
Libraries across Medway provide a range of volunteering opportunities for young people aged 13 to 24. Young people can get involved in planning and running library spaces and activities. The young volunteers are known as ‘Reading Hacks’ and the programme is set up and supported by the Reading Agency, to encourage young people to use the library, volunteer, inspire others to read and organise activities. The programme also supports the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
There are currently 24 Reading Hacks volunteering across Medway’s 15 libraries and community hubs. The young people are also helping to develop library services for other young people. The Reading Hacks duties include running a teen reading group, helping at library events/activities, creating art/book displays for the libraries and encouraging young people to enjoy books by writing book reviews.
Help sign children up for the Summer Reading Challenge
Medway Council is encouraging more young people to sign up to become Reading Hacks and work as Summer Reading Challenge volunteers to help deliver the challenge to children aged four to 12. The volunteers sign children up for the Summer Reading Challenge, hand out incentives, talk to children about the books they’re reading and encourage children to complete the challenge. In 2017, 34 Reading Hacks worked as volunteers and they were all invited to a party to celebrate their hard work. They also received certificates to thank them for their support.
'It is wonderful to have young people volunteering in libraries across Medway'
Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “It is wonderful to have young people volunteering in libraries across Medway. They provide valuable insight into our services and help us develop our library service for young people to enjoy.”
Some of the Reading Hacks stay volunteering with Medway Libraries for many years, like James who worked as a Reading Hack for six years. He said: “It has been an honour and pleasure to fill the position for so many years.”
All library volunteers are fully trained and supported and any young person aged 13 to 24 can volunteer.