How to support your local library
There are lots of ways to support your local library and the library service across Somerset. Donations of stock or funds, Friends groups, support for events and campaigns and volunteering all help us deliver the best possible range of services.
Volunteers are a vital part of the Somerset Libraries team. They bring their experience, knowledge and skills to help us deliver a wider range of opportunities and activities to Somerset communities. We’re grateful for their time and energy, and all that they contribute to our service.
There are loads of ways to get involved and help out at your local library
Talk to staff in your local library about volunteering. We are happy to give you more information about current opportunities and what they involve. Download the form below if you know you’d like to get involved.
Libraries Services Volunteer application form
The Council’s volunteering page
We’re happy to accept donated books in good condition. Just drop them in to your local library. We do reserve the right not to stock them if they are in poor condition or there are simply too many of the same title or subject. We may stock them at a different library if that’s more appropriate.
Evidence shows that simply cramming in lots of extra books doesn’t improve the library experience for users. It’s important to have the right books for that library. Books will get withdrawn or moved elsewhere if there’s no local demand for them.
We sell excess stock at many of our libraries and through Friends events, so your donations are very welcome as fundraising items even if we don’t keep them on our shelves.
Money specifically raised to purchase stock at a library will always be used to buy materials for that local library. This won’t replace any central funding we allocate, and will be in addition to the normal budget.
We get an excellent discount for all books, so donations will normally go further than purchasing books to donate. We aim for books purchased by Friends group funding to stay with their library for at least 12 months, although they may be borrowed by users from other locations as part of the LibrariesWest catalogue.
If you’d like to make a contribution, speak to your local library staff about how to make a donation directly to us or through a Friends group – and find out if we have any current campaigns you’d like to support.
Friends groups work in partnership with local library teams. They provide support and boost awareness of a library and its services in the local community. Friends groups can be involved in a wide range of activities
We welcome suggestions and comments on stock from Friends groups – especially if they have liaised with local interest groups and clubs. We can’t guarantee that we will purchase items if we feel they don’t represent good value for money.
Contact staff at your local library to see if there’s a local Friends group you can join.
If your local library doesn’t already have a Friends group, we can advise and support you in setting one up. It is important that all Friends groups are constituted, have elected members and formal processes in place.
We also recommend that any friends groups take out insurance cover for any activities they provide outside of library opening times.
If you would like more information about joining or setting up a friends group please speak to staff at your local library.
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