Libraries thank volunteers

Merton Libraries hosted a thank you celebration to mark the excellent contribution volunteers have made to its service.

Held during Volunteers’ Week, the celebration saw over 200 volunteers being awarded certificates of recognition by the Deputy Mayor of Merton, Councillor John Sargeant. The event recognised the outstanding contribution that volunteers make on a daily basis to improve library services and make them more reflective of the communities they serve. Volunteers undertake a wide variety of roles in Merton Libraries including meeting and greeting, supporting children’s activities, shelving books and helping to deliver outreach sessions.

Over 700 volunteers have contributed their time to one of the seven libraries in Merton over the last year with 34,745 hours of volunteering being completed, the highest in London by over 10,000 hours. Merton Libraries recruit their volunteers through the Volunteer Centre Merton (VCM) and they are recruited to roles that add value to the service. This volunteering model has proven to be very successful and previously won the Team London ‘Building Stronger Neighbourhoods’ award for best practice in volunteer management and was also recognised as a Volunteering England good practice model.

The success of Merton Libraries’ volunteering approach has led to a pan-London libraries volunteering campaign called ‘Love Libraries Love Volunteering’ and 13 other London boroughs are already taking part, with more to follow.

Deputy Mayor of Merton, Councillor John Sargeant, said: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed the thank you celebration event for Merton Libraries’ volunteers. I commend everyone who has given their time to our libraries and helped make them a great place to visit, well done.’

Cabinet member for community and culture, Councillor Nick Draper, said: ‘Merton’s libraries are in the top five in London for customer satisfaction as evidenced in the Public Library User Survey results this year. I believe that this is down to the tremendous synergy between our army of library volunteers and our fantastic permanent library staff. Thanks to them and to the inspired leadership of our central libraries team, we have kept all our libraries open with extended opening hours, while at the same time costing residents less than any other library service in London. I want to give a big personal thank you to every one of our volunteers and staff members at Merton Libraries.’

To find out more about volunteering opportunities in Merton Libraries, visit