Merton Council honours library volunteers

Merton Libraries held a special thank you event to honour the contribution volunteers have made to its service.

The event held in the council chamber (22 Oct) paid tribute to the exceptional impact volunteers make on a day-to-day basis to make library services great for residents. Over 120 volunteers were given certificates of recognition, with special certificates given by the Mayor of Merton, Councillor David Chung to the volunteer of the year, outstanding contribution, special recognition, young volunteer of the year and volunteer team success.

Volunteers carry out a wide variety of roles in Merton Libraries including meeting and greeting, supporting children’s activities, helping customers use the IT facilities and helping to promote libraries in the community.

Over 530 volunteers have contributed their time to one of the seven libraries in Merton over the last year with almost 35,000 hours completed, which is the highest volunteer contribution in any London library service. The initiative is a partnership between Merton Libraries and Merton Voluntary Service Council (MVSC). 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.

Mayor of Merton, Councillor David Chung, said: “I congratulate everyone who was awarded for the tremendous effort they put into making Merton Libraries some of the best in the country. Thank you all for giving up your own time and making a difference to our libraries.”

Merton’s cabinet member for community and culture, Councillor Nick Draper, said: “Our libraries are among the most highly-regarded in all of London, and Merton’s library membership is the highest in London.  At the same time, they’re easily the cheapest to run in London, which means that while other boroughs are closing libraries, we have kept all of ours open and for longer.  That success is down to the enthusiasm and hard work of our fantastic army of volunteers, as well as that of our brilliant permanent staff. I want to thank every one of them for making Merton libraries great!”

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