We love our volunteers at Explore.

You could gain skills to get back into work, share your talent , or maybe you just love libraries and archives.

Volunteering for Explore is a chance for you to meet new people, develop new skills or share yours with others. Volunteering has been proven to improve well-being, so why not give it a go?

In return, we’ll give you training and feedback to help you carry out your role and develop your skills, give you chance to meet with others, and re-pay you for any travel expenses to get to your library.

We don’t use volunteers to replace our paid staff, but you will help us grow new projects and enhance the work we do in our libraries and archives.

Interesting in supporting us? Please see the current roles we have available, there’s an FAQ document and Volunteer Policy if you want to find out more, and then you can apply here.

Explore is an equal opportunities employer and our volunteers will always be treated with respect and fairness in accordance with our equalities policy.

Current Volunteer roles

Summer Reading Challenge Volunteer

Each year Explore York Libraries and Archives offer The Summer Reading Challenge for children. This invites children to read 6 books over the long holiday, receive small incentive prizes for each book they read, with a medal and certificate when they complete the challenge. We also run children’s events around the theme of the challenge.

You will be a representative of Explore York Libraries and need to give all customers and facilitators working with us a great experience so that they want to come back again.

For more information see Summer Reading Challenge Volunteer 2021

Shelver and Stock Volunteer at the Community Stadium

An excellent opportunity to gain some practical experience of working in a library. The role involves working as part of a team of volunteers, independently supporting a self-service library.

For more information see Shelver and Stock volunteer Community Stadium

Location: The Community Stadium, Vangarde Park

Cafe Volunteer

This is an excellent opportunity to gain practical experience, build confidence and meet people. It’s important to us that all our cafes have a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and are a clean and tidy space for everyone to enjoy.

For more information see Explore Cafe Volunteer

Location: This opportunity is available at York, Acomb, Tang Hall and Rowntree Park Reading Cafe.

Home Library Service

We offer a home library service for those in our communities who love to read, but can no longer easily leave their home to hop to the nearest library to choose the books they want for themselves. As a Home Library Service volunteer you will choose and deliver books on a regular basis and help people continue to share the joy of reading.

For more information visit our dedicated page.

For further information, click on Home Library Service volunteer

Location: This role is available at all Explore libraries.

Local Library Volunteer

This is an opportunity to gain practical all round experience of working in a small library. Our smaller libraries are managed by one member of staff so really need the support of volunteers to deliver their excellent standard of customer care and range of services.

For further information, click on Local Library Volunteer.

Location : The role is available at Bishopthorpe, Copmanthorpe, Dringhouses, Dunnington, Fulford, Huntington, New Earswick, Poppleton, and Strensall Libraries.

Meet and Greet Volunteer

This is a chance to be the first point of contact for people, presenting a positive image of York Explore. You’ll signpost customers and visitors to wherever they need to be in the building, and help promote services and events.

For further information, see Meeter and Greeter.

Location: This opportunity is available at York Explore library only.

 Shelver and Stock Volunteer

This is an opportunity to gain practical experience of working in a library and ensure that our books are attractively displayed and shelved correctly.

For further information, click on Shelver and Stock.

Location: This role is available at all Explore Libraries & Archive locations


Can I claim expenses?

Volunteers should not be out of pocket as a result of volunteering for us. We’ll reimburse reasonable travel costs up to the value of a day travel ticket within City of York boundaries.

Do I need to supply references?

We like to take up two references for all roles and ask that you supply this information on the application form. They should be people you’ve had recent contact with like a current or recent employer, teacher, neighbour or family friend, but should not be a relative.

What skills and experience do I need?

Most roles just require time, energy and enthusiasm. Any additional skills will be set out in the role description. These might include, for example, previous IT experience.

What support and training will I be given?

You’ll be given all the necessary training and support you need to do your role. You’ll also be given an induction, be invited to the library to meet the staff and get to know the building, and will receive ongoing support as your role progresses.

If you have any other questions, contact us at yorkvolunteers@exploreyork.org.uk.