Volunteers Wanted for the Love2Read Cafe

Do you enjoy working with people?
Do you love books and reading?
Want to combine the two?

The State Library of Western Australian is celebrating the National Year of Reading in 2012, and we’re looking for volunteers to help enthuse people about books and reading in our Love2Read café. It is an exciting time to be involved with the State Library and we are inviting motivated volunteers to participate in and share Australia’s love of language, literature, books and reading in all its forms.

The Love2Read café is the State Library of Western Australia’s flagship initiative to kick-start the National Year of Reading. It will be based on the Bryant Park reading room model in New York. Trolleys full of new and pre-loved books, magazines, comics and newspapers will be wheeled out under the canopied area in the front of the State Library, which will be transformed into a book café and open air library from 21 January to 26 February 2012.

The Love2Read café will feature bright, engaging decor with colourful chairs, tables and beanbags to encourage people to sit down and discover or rediscover the joy of reading for pleasure. There will also be a range of events and programs to attract a wide variety of audiences to take part in the Love2Read café, from author talks and book signings, to fitness classes and festival fringe events.

You will be working with other State Library staff members to make the Love2Read café a must-visit destination within the Perth Cultural Centre.

Volunteer Position: Love2Read Café Assistant
Directorate: Community, Learning and Discovery
Team: Participation and Learning
Reports to: Manager: Participation and Learning

Primary purpose of position:
To assist and support all day-to-day operations required for the smooth running of the Love2Read café at the State Library of Western Australia. This may include:
• Responding to queries and/or providing assistance to clients in the Love2Read café.
• Keep the area clean, tidying tables, reshelving books, arranging and stacking chairs.
• Being aware of stock levels, and restocking book trolleys when necessary.
• Assisting with all aspects of events, including event set-up and take-down.

Volunteers must be:
• Able to work well with State Library and Aroma café staff in contributing to a team environment which ensures the delivery of quality services to clients.
• Physically capable of working both outdoors and in a library environment, for example shifting and lifting of books, stacking of chairs and tables, pushing trolleys.
• Available to work the hours to which they have committed, which may include evenings and weekends.

Desirable qualities and experience:
• Excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to connect with a wide range of people.
• Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
• Experience in the administrative and logistical aspects of running events and programs.
• Experience in a library, bookstore or other customer service-driven environment.
• An awareness of Occupational Safety and Health requirements relevant to the position.

For further information contact Mary Doyle, Volunteer Coordinator, on 9427 3327. To apply, tell us in 250 words or less what you’d bring to the Love2Read café, and send a 2-page (max.) résumé with contact details of 2 referees, to Mary Doyle (mary.doyle@slwa.wa.gov.au) by 5 December 2011.

If successful, applicants will be invited to attend an interview on Monday 12 December at 2.30pm. Volunteers should also be available to attend a training session on Monday 16 January, 2012.

3 thoughts on “Volunteers Wanted for the Love2Read Cafe

  1. I would be pleased to offer my services as a volunteer however I see no need for Mary Doyle to coordinate an interview for what is after all not paid employment ,simply volunteer work ,no more than that.

  2. John

    Many thanks for your comment and the opportunity to explain why we interview prospective volunteers.

    As part of implementing best practice in volunteer management the State Library screens all volunteers. Interviewing volunteers is a vital step in the screening and therefore risk management process. Volunteers for the Love2Read Cafe will be in direct contact with our clients, some of who may be vulnerable. This creates a risk which needs to be managed and we have a duty of care.

    Screening and interviewing potential volunteers also enables us to establish their suitability for the roles and tasks they are expected to carry out. In this case we are looking for people who are able to help enthuse others about books and reading. We are looking for people who
    – have good interpersonal skills
    – are able to work well with others
    – are able to manage OSH issues
    – are reliable.

    You are, of course, correct in stating that volunteer work is uppaid. That is one of the principles of volunteering. However this does not mean our volunteers are unprofessional. The State Library volunteers take pride in their work, meet challenges and accomplish great things. We endeavour to treat them professionally, with respect and as an integral part of our team.

    If this makes us sound like an organisation you would like to volunteer for, or you would like more information on the National Standards I would be happy to discuss this further.

    Kind regards
    Mary Doyle
    Team Leader: Volunteers

  3. @John: Yes, volunteer work may be unpaid, but it is much much more than just volunteering. Being a volunteer for over 5 years with many different organisations has given me great job opportunities, made many friends, got to see behind the scenes of many places that others would not get to see!

    You are still representing these organisations, and they have to check that you will be able to carry out the role.

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