Volunteer with Reading Libraries

Young volunteers needed to support Summer Reading Challenge

  • Volunteers sought between 14 and 18 who are enthusiastic about reading.
  • Opportunity to develop new skills and work experience.
  • Summer Reading Challenge 2022 launches on 9 July.

READING LIBRARY SERVICE is looking for young people aged 14 to 18 who can encourage children to take part in and complete this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Summer Reading Challenge Gadgeteers

The library is hoping to attract young people who are over 14, and enthusiastic about reading.

Tasks will include talking with and listening to younger children about the books they have been reading and suggesting other things they may like to read. The aim would also be to help the children and their parents or carers to understand how the Summer Reading Challenge works, handing out rewards and supporting with events and craft activities.

The library will provide training, supervision and support and it is a great opportunity to develop new skills and experience for the future as well as gain work experience for CVs. Volunteering can also help with accreditation for Duke of Edinburgh or Arts Award.

The much-loved yearly Summer Reading Challenge will be available in all Reading Libraries from 9 July 2022. Children aged 4 to 11 are challenged to read at least six books over the summer as part of this year’s science-themed ‘Gadgeteers’ Summer Reading Challenge.

Find out more on the official challenge website: https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk and once it starts, locally at www.reading.gov.uk/libraries

Adele Barnett-Ward, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Leisure and Culture, said: “I am delighted that Reading Libraries are offering this opportunity to young people between 14 and 18. Reading Challenge Volunteers will learn new skills, gain valuable work experience, and have fun doing so. The only qualification you need is a love of reading.

“We know children’s reading can ‘dip’ during the long summer holidays if they don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure, impacting their learning at the start of the next school year. Volunteers supporting the Reading Challenge this summer will play a valuable role in keeping children engaged with books by being positive role models and advocates for reading.

“The Reading Challenge is always popular but after such a difficult and unsettling couple of years for children the programme is more important than ever, supporting and encouraging vital reading catch-up activities. In previous years the challenge has seen thousands of children in Reading taking part and I’m eager to see as many youngsters as possible join in with this year’s free, fun-packed ‘Gadgeteers’ challenge and making the most of their local library this summer.”

The library service needs volunteers across all of its branches, including Battle Library, Caversham Library, Central Library, Palmer Park Library, Southcote Library, Tilehurst Library and Whitley Library. 

The Summer Reading Challenge will run between Saturday 9 July and Saturday 10 September – volunteers will be asked to commit to a minimum of 6 sessions over the summer (days and times would be negotiable with the library branch managers). The library will provide a volunteering certificate and would be happy to supply a reference letter to any volunteers who successfully complete the minimum commitment over the summer.

The closing date for applications is Thursday 21 July 2022.

For more information and to apply visit: www.reading.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/volunteering-for-our-summer-reading-challenge



Notes to editors

Notes to Editors

About The Reading Agency 

The Reading Agency is a national charity that tackles life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. We work closely with partners to develop and deliver programmes for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Reading Agency is funded by Arts Council England.


About The Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge is run by the Reading Agency for children across the UK and is delivered in partnership with public libraries. It aims to foster a lifelong love of reading and tackle the drop-off in reading that happens over the school summer holidays. Children are challenged to read as many books as they can over the summer and encouraged to enjoy reading for pleasure. Each year has a different theme – 2021 was ‘Wild World Heroes’, 2020 was ‘Silly Squad’ and 2019 was 'Space Chase’.