Volunteering Opportunities with Hampshire Libraries

Did you know that not only does volunteering make a huge impact to the library service, and our community, volunteering can also benefit you! If you choose one of our exciting, varied volunteering opportunities with Hampshire Libraries you will have the chance to…

  • Give your CV a boost – A survey by TimeBank of some of the UK’s leading businesses and 73% said they’d employ someone who’s volunteered over someone who hasn’t.
  • Improve your confidence – You’ll learn and do things that you might not normally get the chance to – this can be a real confidence boost.
  • Meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests.
  • Provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment.
  • Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times.

Our volunteers support us in so many ways, here are a just a few of the different activities you can get involved with…

Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge runs every year from July to September, and last year Hampshire Libraries supported over 24,000 4 -11 year olds to maintain reading skills across the summer holidays. This year the Summer Reading Challenge is themed around “Animal Agents”, and we expect it to be our busiest yet. We need the support of volunteers to help with registering children in our branches, talking to them about what they have read, and providing encouragement for them by handing out rewards like stickers and medals. Apply online using our easy form today.

Code Club

Hampshire Libraries has launched an exciting new after school programme, supporting 9-11 year olds to learn to code. In association with Code Club South East, using their innovative 3 term schedule, children take part in coding projects, starting from the basics of Scratch. They are being encouraged to share ideas, and pursue digital activities, whilst learning in a hands-on environment. You don’t need to be a Coding expert, we can provide all the training you need, but you do need to be confident using a computer. Take a look and apply online today.

Home Library Service

If a member of the community can’t get to the library due to ill-health, disability or caring responsibilities the library can come to them. Hampshire Libraries can arrange for them to have library books delivered to their home on a regular basis. At least once a month, volunteers select and deliver material to suit the reading preferences of the reader, and return items to the library for them. Apply online using our easy form today.

If you’re not too sure what you want to, take a look at our website to see the different offers we have for Hampshire.

Half term at Hampshire Libraries

Half term is coming up and we have lots of great events taking place across Hampshire Libraries, make sure to have a look.

Further information on these events can be found through following the provided link.

Tuesday 30 May

Pebble painting at Yateley Library

Come along to our Half Term Pebble Painting event from 11am- 11.45am. The talented artists of Yateley are volunteering to help you have a great time learning a new skill. Please bring an old shirt or apron so you don’t get paint on you! Suitable for children aged 4 upwards.

Beside the seaside craft at New Milton Library

Come along to New Milton Library for lots of free Seaside crafts fun, from 10-11am.

Dinosaur themed Storytime and crafts at Totton Library

Come down between 11am and 12noon for a special half-term holiday Dinosaur Storytime and Crafts. This is a free activity but places are limited and tickets need to be booked in advance.

Wednesday 31 May

Where’s Wally at Hythe Library

Join us at Hythe Library as we celebrate 30 years of Where’s Wally? Children of all ages are welcome. There is no need to book in advance – just drop in between 10am and 12 noon for this FREE craft activity.

Thursday 1 June

Crazy animal craft at Lymington Library

Come and have some crazy animal fun this half term from 10-11am, no need to book just come along!

George’s Marvellous Medicine at Yately Library

George’s Marvellous Medicine is a creative writing workshop. Put yourself in George’s shoes and design you own marvellous medicine! Looking at different perspectives, explore how the characters feel and become the author. For ages 8-10 from 10.30-11.30am.

Where’s Wally at Petersfield Library

Come and celebrate all things Wally on his BIG BIRTHDAY! Stories, themed craft and hunt for Wally, free for 4 to 10 year olds.

Ferrets for fun with real ferrets at Lee on the Solent Library

Ferrets For Fun is a charity that promotes the rescue and welfare of ferrets. With their aggressive reputation and extremely sharp teeth, Ferrets For Fun seeks to dispel the myths surrounding this fascinating animal while looking at the history and use of ferrets across more than 2000 years. A fascinating talk suitable from ages 8 – adult. (Under 16’s must be accompanied by a paying adult).

Friday 2 June

Construction club at Emsworth library

Do you love making things with Lego/Duplo bricks? Come and join our Construction Club. Drop in between 2.30pm and 5.30pm the 1st Friday of each month.

Elmer the patchwork elephant

Elmer day is almost here and there is still time to come in and pick up a copy of one of his many books! Here are some of our favourite Elmer stories written by David McKee.


A modern classic, this picture book is known to millions, and continues to be the strongest seller of the whole series, having sold over 2 million copies around the world. The subtle message is that it is OK to be different, and combined with the vibrant colour and cheeky humour of the main character

Elmer and the monster

There is pandemonium in the jungle! A strange roaring sound sends the animals stampeding, convinced it’s a monster. But all is not as it seems. Only Elmer is brave enough to investigate, and what he discovers comes as quite a surprise!

Elmer’s special day

It’s almost Elmer’s Day again for the elephants, and they have begun their preparations already. But in all the excitement they are making an awful lot of noise and upsetting the other animals. So Elmer changes the rules and invites every single animal to join in the parade.

Elmer and the lost teddy

One night, Elmer hears the sound of crying. It’s Baby Elephant and he can’t sleep because he has lost his teddy. Elmer spends the whole of the next day looking for the teddy and eventually finds it.

Elmer and the rainbow

Elmer and the other elephants are waiting for the storm to end so they can see the beautiful, colourful rainbow. But something dreadful has happened: the rainbow has come out too soon and has lost its colours! Elmer decides to give his own colours to the rainbow, but to do that, he must find where it touches the ground. But what will happen to Elmer if he gives the rainbow his own colours? Will he lose them for ever?


Elmer day events

Elmer day will be taking place on Saturday 27 May! Come along and celebrate Elmer the patchwork elephant with us, for more information on the events please follow the links below.

Elmer day at Fareham library, from 10 am to 12 noon

Elmer day at Hythe library, from 10am to 12 noon

Elmer day at Leigh Park library, from 11am to 12 noon

Elmer day at Romsey library, from 10am

Elmer day at Totton library all day

Special Elmer day story time at Winchester Discovery Centre, from 11am


Mental health awareness week

Mental health can be difficult to understand, in support of mental health awareness week we have provided links to some titles through books on prescription. The titles provided can help you understand more about different symptoms and conditions of mental health.

Young people’s mental health

Common mental health conditions

Make sure to check out our different calming and wellbeing events taking place across Hampshire libraries!

Dementia Awareness Week

Hampshire Library Service Dementia Friendly Resources.

Dementia Support Services

Hampshire Libraries are committed to supporting those living with Dementia across Hampshire.

Many of our Hampshire Library Service staff and volunteers have attended Dementia Awareness sessions – taking the opportunity to become Dementia Friends. The aim is to offer positive, Dementia friendly environments in all libraries.  Living with Dementia can create feelings of isolation and problems communicating with family, friends and carers. For many carers it can feel difficult to break through these frustrating barriers.  Hampshire County Council’s Library Service offers a range of materials and resources to borrow to help improve and stimulate discussion and memories.

Books on Prescription – Dementia Collection

This is an informative collection of titles chosen by The Reading Agency, and recommended and endorsed by health professionals.  It is designed to provide information and advice about dementia plus support for relatives and carers. The selection Includes personal stories and activities to share.

Reminiscence Collection

The collection helps to stimulate memories and past experiences. It includes posters, games and quizzes, postcards,  recorded music, smell boxes and memory boxes, jigsaws, photographs and books which can be used to stimulate and support reminiscence.

Audio Resources

Sometimes listening to the rhythm of a voice reading a story can be relaxing in itself. Audio resources can also help if someone wakes during the night, or when attending medical appointments.

  • Playaways

Individual books are pre-loaded onto an easy to use MP3 player about the size of a pack of cards. The user can slow down the reading pace to suit their needs.

  • MP3 CDs

A whole book on 1 or 2 discs that can be listened to, paused, rewound or fast forwarded as needed so that people with dementia can still enjoy the pleasure of a book.

National Talking Newspapers and Magazines

Library staff are happy to load your favourite newspapers and magazines onto your own memory stick. Over 150 audio titles are  available including, Reader’s Digest, Which?, Country Living and People’s Friend.

Quick Reads

Shorter, easy to read paperbacks by popular authors in larger clear print.

Pictures to Share Collection

Books with large simple images designed for people with dementia to help stimulate conversation between them and their families and carers.

Home Library Service

For anyone who finds it difficult to get to the library because of ill health, disability or caring responsibilities. We carefully match customers with local volunteers who are DBS checked, recruited and trained by library staff. Each month these volunteers will  select  and deliver  library items based on your preferences.

National Share a Story Month

National Share a Story Month is an annual celebration of the power of storytelling and story sharing, providing a fantastic opportunity bring children and stories together.

Here are some favourite stories to share with children aged 0-14

Watership Down

Watership Down

by Richard Adams

Young rabbit Fiver is convinced that a great evil is about to befall the warren where he lives – but no one will listen to him.

Each Peach Pear Plum

Each Peach Pear Plum

by Janet & Allan Ahlberg
This classic book from author and illustrator team Janet and Allan Ahlberg is a real favourite with families


The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters

The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters

by Janet & Allan Ahlberg
Brilliantly designed with lots of little details to spot, this old favourite will be enjoyed time and time again


The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

by Joan Aiken
There are wolves outside the walls of Willoughby Chase, but for cousins Bonnie and Sylvia, the real danger lies inside.




by David Almond
Exploring a ramshackle garage with his new-found friend, Mina, Michael discovers a strange, magical creature.

Carrie's War


Carrie’s War

by Nina Bawden
During World War II, Carrie and her younger brother Nick are evacuated to Wales and billeted with the fierce old Mr Evans and his mousy sister, Louise.


Noughts and Crosses

Noughts and Crosses

by Malorie Blackman
Callum is a Nought but his best friend Sephy is a Cross – the daughter of one of the most influential politicians in the country.




by Judy Blume
Seventeen-year-old Katherine meets Michael at a party. The two of them like each other immediately, and soon fall in love – but are they ready to take their relationship to the next level?


The Enchanted Wood

The Enchanted Wood

by Enid Blyton
When Joe, Beth and Frannie move into a new home, they discover a mysterious wood on their very doorstep.


A Bear Called Paddington

A Bear Called Paddington

by Michael Bond
Paddington, the brown bear from darkest Peru, is found by the Brown family on Paddington Station with his hat, duffel coat and marmalade sandwiches.


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

by John Boyne
Bruno is exploring his new home at ‘Out-With’ when he meets Shmuel, who lives on the other side of a fence which surrounds a large camp in the grounds.

The Snowman

The Snowman

by Raymond Briggs
James builds a snowman in the garden, then wakes up in the night to find that it has come to life.


The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook

The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook

by Joyce Lankester Brisley
Milly-Molly-Mandy lives with her mother, father, uncle, aunt, grandmother and grandfather in a ‘nice white cottage with a thatched roof’.


Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley

by Jeff Brown
Stanley Lambchop wakes up one morning to find he is only half an inch thick

Would You Rather?

Would You Rather?

by John Burningham
Would you rather drink snail squash or eat mashed worms? Help a witch make stew? Tickle a monkey?