Further reading


  • V for Volunteer – a dystopian reality – A Medley of Extemporanea. Dawn Finch interviews an anonymous museum volunteer who makes clear that volunteering, without support, is deeply problematic. Numbers of volunteers are severely down over a few years as people discover it’s real work or go off to do something else, council fails to support. Volunteer thinks best thing to have done, had they of known what they do today, would be to have campaigned harder to keep paid staff. Questions long-term future of museum, how repairs will be funded and thinks they will need to introduce charging soon. (September 2016)
  • Community libraries: good practice toolkit – DCMS / Libraries Taskforce. Best practice guide for volunteer libraries, March 2016
  • Community Libraries: Key considerations for community organisations seeking to take over library services and assets – Locality. “This guide forms part of a series of resources produced for the My Community programme, which is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government. This guide explores the subject of community managed and/or owned libraries, and contains advice that is relevant to both established and new community organisations, as well as Town and Parish Councils who are interested in exploring how they may play a role in supporting and developing local community library services and buildings.”
  • Sheffield – Community library: Frecheville, Sheffield – Gov.uk / Libraries Taskforce. “Frecheville Library and Learning Centre is an associate library and a registered not for profit charity. Community volunteers took over the running of the library on the 29 September 2014 and are supported by Sheffield City Council (SCC).” Looks at deal with Sheffield council, role in the community and numbers and roles of volunteers.  35 volunteers. “The library is open for 23 hours per week. This is an extra 2 hours per week than when it was run by the council as the library no longer closes for lunch.”. Challenges include maintenance and updating technology (June 2016)
  • Warwickshire – Community library: Harbury, Warwickshire – Gov.uk / Libraries Taskforce. A look at the staffing, role and funding of a volunteer library. “The library was previously open for 2 days per week and is now open for 5 full weekdays and a half day on Saturday.” … “The library has worked hard to encourage usage by local children and in addition to holiday book schemes initiated by the county library service, they have organised “Tunes and Tales” which has brought in families with babies and toddlers. ” …”A major factor in the success of Harbury Village Library has been the 3,100 books donated by villagers or purchased through the library’s Buy a Book Scheme. These books are administered by a separate computer system (Book Cat) which allows them to be kept within the library. ” £10,000 income per year due to café and other ventures.
  • Charter for strengthening relations between paid staff and volunteers – TUC and Volunteering England.
  • 2014: Are community libraries effective? – MA dissertation with wide range of responses.
  • CILIP policy on volunteering in libraries – Revised 2012.  Directly against job substitution by volunteers.
  • Community Libraries Research – ACE/LGA 2013.
  • Community Managed Libraries – MLA, May 2011.
  • Community engagement in public libraries: an evaluation of the Big Lottery Fund’s Community Libraries ProgrammeMLA, March 2011.  A similarly pro-volunteer report to the recently publoshed Community Managed Libraries report.  However, this one concentrates more on the positive impact of using volunteers to complement existing library staff rather than replacing them.
  • Evidence on the use of volunteers in libraries  and on volunteer-run libraries  – SLIC 2015.
  • Formal response to Trafford council’s consultation – Hands Off Old Trafford Library.  An excellent survey of current (Feb 2012) problems regarding volunteering in urban/less prosperous areas.
  • Libraries: care in the community? – BookSeller, 4th June 2012.  Excellent overview of the situation so far, with pros and cons.
  • Library Campaign magazine special on volunteers – Summer 2013
  • Library volunteer guidance – Unison, June 2013. “This guidance document sets out UNISON’s policy on the use of volunteers in public libraries alongside staff and offers guidance to branches on dealing with the issue of volunteering.  It provides information on the instances where volunteers should be  receiving the National Minimum Wage.  This guidance does not cover the issue of volunteers in ‘community managed libraries’ which are no longer under the control of the local authority.”
  • Love your libraries: campaign pack for branches – UNISON, June 2011, p.6-10.
  • On permanent loan? Community managed libraries: the volunteer perspective – National Federation of Women’s Institutes, Jan 2013.
  • SCL policy on volunteering in libraries – Revised 2012.  Strongly in favour of volunteers and accepting of job substitution “within a professionally managed framework”,
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