Volunteers break the record in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge

Abby Watson, Summer Reading Challenge volunteer at Radlett Library
Abby Watson, Summer Reading Challenge volunteer at Radlett Library

Hundreds of youngsters across the county have been volunteering to help libraries with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

As many as 358 14 to 24-year-olds have signed up to donate 12 hours of their time to the challenge and in total 441 people are volunteering – the largest number recorded in the county.

More than 15,000 children have already signed up to take part in this year’s Record Breakers themed Summer Reading Challenge, which continues across the county until September 5.

Abby Watson, a Summer Reading Challenge volunteer at Radlett Library, describes the reading challenge as ‘excellent motivation for reading’ and is encouraging others to pop along to their local library to take part.

She said: “The best thing about the Summer Reading Challenge, whether that be as a participant or a volunteer, is the opportunity to discuss books – novels, non-fiction, audio books and comic books – as it’s not something that one tends to do, especially when you are younger, with other people at home or at school.”

Abby also volunteers on an ongoing basis at Radlett Library, donating an hour of her time each week. She volunteered for last year’s Reading Challenge and enjoyed it so much that she asked if she could continue throughout the year.

She added: “There’s so much I like about volunteering at the library. I get to interact with people, help children find books and explore books myself. I feel it’s a worthwhile and valuable use of my time, as I’m giving back to a library which I love using.”

Teresa Heritage, cabinet member for public health, localism and libraries, said: “It’s great to hear about people like Abby getting involved in their local community. Abby is a great example of how residents can take the lead and volunteer their time to make a difference to an organisation that they value in their community.”

Children are challenged to read six books over the summer and are rewarded with stickers for their Record Breakers themed packs when they visit the library to talk about the books they’ve read.

Those who have completed the challenge will be invited to a special awards ceremony, where they will receive a certificate and a medal. They will also be entered into a prize draw with the chance to win a ‘Golden Ticket’ for an exclusive author event. Hertfordshire County Council is looking to attract more volunteers to their libraries as part of its Inspiring Libraries strategy. There’s a range of ways people can get involved. For more information visit: http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/libraries/aboutlib/volunteerlibs/