General library helper role description

The role

This role is to:

  • help library customers get the best experience from libraries and library resources
  • help library staff in their support to customers
  • assist staff with management of all resources, with shelving and basic stock routines
  • help libraries continue as local community resources

This role is suitable for you if:

  • you’re enthusiastic about helping people to use library resources more fully
  • you’re confident dealing with a wide range of people, or want to increase that confidence
  • you love reading and enjoy talking about books
  • you’re organised or like organising things

As a general library helper you will be:

  • helping a wide of range of customers with general enquiries
  • assisting any customer unfamiliar with using self-service terminals
  • assisting with issuing, returning, reserving and shelving books, where necessary
  • assisting customers with library public computers (optional: some training given)
  • other tasks as requested by the Supervisor and needed by library staff, within your ability and with training

Required skills, experience, interests and knowledge

You will need:

  • reliability and the ability to make a regular commitment to the library
  • good level of literacy and numeracy
  • good verbal communication skills
  • understanding of the need for customer confidentiality
  • interest in helping and understanding the needs of different customers, including children, young people, older people
  • ability to carry books, move trolleys and accurately shelve books without supervision
  • ability to use IT systems or to learn those (training and support will be given in use of self-service terminals, library management systems and library public computers)

Benefits of volunteering

By volunteering in this role, you will get:

  • the ability to use your skills in a different context
  • improved experience and knowledge, including of library systems
  • a boost to your existing communication skills and confidence
  • friends and social contact
  • evidence for your CV
  • reference for future employment, if needed

Hours of volunteering

You can see our range of opening hours on our library directory. The hours you work will be agreed between you and the library supervisor.

We would appreciate a commitment for at least 12 months but are flexible in this.


This role will be based at one of Bracknell Forest’s libraries. This will be agreed between you and the library supervisor.


No travel is expected for this role. If needed, volunteers can ask for reimbursement of reasonable expenses for travel.

Training and support

You will receive the following training:

  • induction, safety, safeguarding, general information about libraries
  • confidentiality awareness
  • operation of self-service terminals
  • library management system awareness
  • familiarisation with libraries’ public computers and helping customers with computer queries (optional)

You will receive the following support:

  • regular contact with the library supervisor and volunteer coordinator
  • support from library staff to understand and undertake role
  • opportunity to meet with other volunteers

The volunteering process

First, register your interest with Bracknell Forest library service.

We will then send you an application form to fill in.

You will also need to:

  • attend at a short, informal interview/meeting
  • give us details of 2 references

We will process the required Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Scheme check for you for free.

After making an application

If your volunteering application is successful, once we have your references and a satisfactory DBS check, we will agree your training and session start dates and times for your role.

Contact information

Bracknell Forest Libraries

Make an enquiry