Volunteering For The SRC 2014

A few hours ago, I finished my volunteer work for the Summer, handing it my library service lanyard after the afternoon's event, the small space crowded with children clutching teddies. For the past six weeks, I've been involved with the Summer Reading Challenge 2014, a project that was set up by the Reading Agency; encouraging children to read over the holidays with prizes handed out at certain stages in the challenge. Libraries organise events based on a theme, this year's being 'Mythical Maze', with the characters that feature on posters and stickers designed by Sarah McIntyre. I guess that's a little bit about the background of the Summer Reading Challenge covered!
I've wanted to be a volunteer for a while now; desperate to find something productive to do throughout the summer holidays, when otherwise I would be curled up in my bedroom online. I remember when I saw the advertisement for volunteers last year, but after starting to complete the form, I realised I had to be fifteen. That Summer was spent watching those older than me, in their volunteer t-shirts, help the librarians before events at my local library whilst I chose books from the teen section. One year on, and I'll admit that I was the youngest volunteer for the 2014 Challenge in my area, being one month into the required age, not knowing until I arrived at the introduction to see those much older than me walk in. I must have seemed out-of-place; struggling to continue the conversation when another volunteer asked me a question. Luckily, after that one evening, I could return to the safety of the library where I already knew the librarians.
There were a few similarities between volunteering and work experience(where I spent time at a Primary school), one of these being that I was covered in glitter. Constantly. Along with the glitter, there was glue and pencil sharpening's. And food during a Teddy Bear's Picnic. What I didn't do during work experience, though, was watch a Balloon Man show and love it, pretend to be a dragon or design bead-bracelets. I hadn't designed a fish out of a paper-plate and tissue paper or made a fairy wand out of card since the times I used to take part in the SRC; collecting stickers and wristbands.

Being a volunteer reminded me of what I loved doing when I was slightly younger. I spent time preparing resources, helping children make their own golden snitches or mazes, and then cleaning afterwards.
There were times when I wished I would have been able to scan books out or use the online database. I wanted to give out the Reading Challenge prizes to the children or return finished novels. Maybe, experiencing the day as a librarian, rather than a volunteer, at times - spending more than five hours there a week - would have been interesting? Or being at another library where I wasn't as relaxed? I would have liked to have done more. But, I can't say I haven't liked being part of SRC 2014, the most rewarding part hearing children scream with delight when they were told that they could take "more than one book" home. I listened to parents reading to their children, and to my relief, this proved that those articles about how there's no time to read anymore are not true.

Did you volunteer for the Summer Reading Challenge this year?
Have you volunteered at a library, or elsewhere, in the past?
Would you like too?

Tell me in the comments!


  1. Such a well written post Sophie! I'm volunteering at my local library this year, as in my borough you only have to be fourteen (Not sure why the age limit differs!). I have a few shifts left next week then I'm done, and I'm sure I'll be back next year to help. It's so rewarding! Kinda jealous you've been doing all the craft activities - I seem to have been timetabled for all the days they're not on, haha! I've been on my enquiries desk handing out prizes like the stickers and medals... It's so strange to be on the other side of the desk as for years I've been on the challenge participant end:')

    1. Thank you so much, Georgia! I'm really glad that you enjoyed volunteering, too! I would have loved to have been behind the desk more; getting covered in glitter every week can be tiring!

      Can completely relate about being on the other side of the desk - rather than participating! The most exciting thing for me was being able to go in the back room where all the craft resources and book orders are kept!

      -Sophie :)

  2. I love volunteering at my library during the summer. I don't get to do it as much as I like to because of camp and all but you find that ALL of our children/teen librarians are very nice and during the year you can talk to them. It probably doesn't thief that I go to the library at least once week either.

    Amelia @ YA Bookologists

    1. You volunteer too?! I didn't realise so many of us book bloggers lead secret lives as librarians! I love that you can talk to the staff that work there - when I realised they knew my name I was so shocked(but, like you, I visit weekly)!

      Thanks for commenting!

      -Sophie :)


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Sophie Louise