Our Volunteers I : Counter Volunteers

This week we held a special meeting at the society just for our enquiries counter volunteers, so they could meet others who volunteer on different days, talk about the work they do and suggest ways the society can further support and assist them in their roles.

Our counter volunteers form a part of the front line of the society - the coalface. They are uniquely positioned to inform the society of what we are doing well and what can be improved upon.

Our counter volunteers are a diverse bunch of people, but they all have at least two things in common …

Our counter volunteers are passionate about family history research

Most of them will tell you that being a counter volunteer has had a positive impact on their own personal research because they have learned so much more about the resources the society holds and how to take advantage of them.

They keep abreast of new resources and are continually learning. 

They have learned tricks and tips for navigating digital resources and using them effectively, so they can assist members and visitors who are not confident with computers and need help accessing and printing records.

Our counter volunteers love helping people

Some library visitors are very confident catalogue and database users and need very little assistance. So when the enquiries counter is quiet, counter volunteers carry out private research and study or undertake light administrative duties for the library. At other times the library is busy and it is amazing to see these people in action – answering a great variety of queries, managing the printing service, helping researchers to use the catalogue and fetching resources for them. It is very rewarding to see researchers find the information and resources they need to progress their research and make the most of the time they have at the library. Though so many resources are available online, researchers can find the guidance of our counter volunteers particularly helpful in helping navigating their way - from finding what they need online to interpreting what they find.

Arising from this week's meeting, counter volunteers will be offered some additional tailored educational activities and their suggestions for ways to improve communication and share their knowledge are being implemented.

If you are passionate about family history research, love helping people and are interested in joining our counter volunteer team, complete the Volunteering Expression of Interest form on our volunteer page.

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