Maryam, 16, tells us all about her experience volunteering at Northwood Library this summer, to help with the Summer Reading Challenge…
“In the summer of 2017, I volunteered at the Northwood Library. I was visiting London from the United States of America. During my time at this library, I learned many new things about the culture and people of London. I found it to be an overall wonderful experience. Firstly, because of the sense of community. People who walked in to the library were greeted warmly, like old friends. Everyone spoke very politely to each other, and this form of speech was touched on majorly in volunteer training. The library staff were extremely helpful to the users. They would answer any questions they had and personally walk with them to find a book.
It was a positive environment for children and adults and the Summer Reading Challenge was a great way to encourage children to continue reading over the summer. In the United States, when our neighbourhood library hosts a similar reading challenge, children must write down 10 books that they read over the summer and hand the paper in to receive a prize. In the UK children must visit the library 6 times over the summer to complete the challenge, ensuring that they come to the library regularly to check out books.
I found the events in the library to be thought provoking and fun for the children. I have never seen children so excited to find and read a new book. It was a beautiful scene to watch children eagerly fill out their booklets and show up a few days later to receive a prize for all their hard work. My experience volunteering at Northwood Library this summer was entirely positive, and I will be sure to bring some of these ideals back to my local library in the US.”
Organised by The Reading Agency and libraries throughout the country, the Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at encouraging children aged 4 to 11 to visit the library and read during the summer holidays.