|Merton Pioneers Library Volunteer Scheme|
Mayor unveils London 'Library Champions' plan
A new &Pound;100,000 scheme to expand the number of volunteers supporting libraries in London, will be based on a successful model pioneered in Merton.
During the last year, Merton has recruited more than 370 volunteers in libraries across the borough. They support staff in a range of roles including supporting children's activities, delivering stock to customers as part of the home visits library service, greeting customers in libraries, delivering IT training and community outreach to increase library usage.
It enables staff to focus on delivering key services, while volunteers can help with a wide variety of events and additional activities, including those for children and cultural groups.
The project is looking for 2,000 people to sign up as 'Library Champions' to take part in the scheme. The project is based on developing a pan-London approach to volunteering based on the Merton model of volunteering in libraries where a formal partnership is established by the library service with Volunteer Centre Merton.
The Mayor of London said: "Merton are doing a wonderful job and I'm delighted they are involved in Team London Love Libraries. Public libraries offer a fantastic range of books to inspire and open minds, just as great Victorian philanthropists like Carnegie envisaged. Today they also can help with a host of other invaluable activities and services, such as reading support, free internet access and even help with job searching.
"Our Team London Love Libraries volunteers will help these great institutions share their valuable knowledge and information, building on the excellent work they already do and, I hope, strengthening their place at the heart of our communities."
For more information about volunteering in libraries visit www.merton.gov.uk/libraries.
December 12, 2011