Your thoughts wanted about volunteer-led libraries

A few years ago, public libraries run by volunteers were almost unheard of. But more and more local authorities are turning to the idea. And more and more local people are taking them on as the only way to ‘save’ them.

Speak Up For Libraries (a coalition of organisations and campaigners, including Voices for the Library) wants to hear from anyone with a view about these volunteer-led libraries in the UK, whether they are a volunteer, a library worker or a library user.

Let us know, via :

  • What works well and what doesn’t?
  • What are the challenges and considerations?
  • What is the impact on the library service and what do you see as the future?

The information will be used to inform SUFL’s advocacy.  A summary of the evidence will be published.  All information received will be anonymised unless specific permission has been given to identify the contributor and the names of library or library service.

Please email queries, comments and information to

(Originally posted on the Speak Up For Libraries site)

3 thoughts on “Your thoughts wanted about volunteer-led libraries

  1. Mrs K Cunningham

    Al thou i am a fan of the many individuals who can afford to volunteer in the community and have volunteered myself to gain work experience.
    Their is no contract to ad hear to, you can turn up and leave when you want or not turn up at all if you so wish.
    You are not obligated to book Holiday dates or appointment time.
    You can have as much sick time as you wish.
    You are not obligated to work notice should you choose to leave.
    You can`t be held responsible should mistakes be made or poor customer services.
    I feel a Public Library should be run by professional Trained Staff that are dedicated in providing an excellent service to the general public.
    We could suffer the loss of this great facility if not professionally run.


  2. Carole Clohesy

    I have recently joined a group of volunteers preparing to run our local library which would otherwise be shut next year. I have heard that we shan’t be allowed (by Leics. County Council who will be supporting and training for a while) to access data on library users so that when we want to retrieve a book we shall have no way of knowing who has borrowed it. This sounds nonsensical and obstructive. Does anyone else have experience of prescriptive rules from a County council which is supposed to be supporting the Community run library please?


  3. Jane Smith

    If libraries are worth having, then their necessary staff are worth paying for, along with any other service or economic activity. Britain can afford this, we are one of the richest countries in the world: it is a myth that we have no resources left, it is just that some individuals at the top of society feel that they have an increasing right to the lion’s (and increasing) share of our society’s resources. Requiring some economic activities (typically those carried out by women primarily, as it just so happens) to be voluntary would be all very well if food and housing and other necessities were to be distributed for free without comment. Until that basic income comes in, however, we live in a money/ labour exchange economy and all economic activity should be financially rewarded.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s