by Rebecca Wilson, Library Officer

September 2012 saw the launch of the HNC Library Volunteer scheme which recruited students willing to learn new skills and gain new experiences by working in the Library for just one hour a week throughout the academic year. Nine students took up the challenge and have been committed to the scheme throughout their studies, learning how to serve their fellow students with books and issue out Library iPads.

All of the students have gained a better understanding for why and how the Library is organised the way it is. Many have used such knowledge to benefit their studies by discovering and using books and journals as research sources.

Katie Barden (far left), Hanna Thorpe (front), James Harries, (middle), Phoung Phan (second middle), Mehvish Naveed (second from right) and Anush Mataghchyan (far right) are all approaching the end of their first full year on the scheme. Sadly Atiqah and Zahraa (beside Katie) decided to devote their time better to their studies as this is their final year at HNC.

It was also the final year for Katie Barden and Hanna Thorpe. On their final day Library Officer Rebecca Wilson rewarded Katie for her commitment and dedicated hard work with a £20 Waterstones gift card and a special certificate.

Unfortunately Hanna was unable to have a photograph taken when she received her own certificate and reward but she did make this statement regarding her time and experience as Student Library Volunteer:

“My time as a library volunteer at HNC has been very enjoyable and has helped me to develop my communication skills. I joined the volunteer scheme in the hope that it would challenge and help me to learn new skills. I put this on my CV which helped a lot towards my university application as it’s something different and makes my application stand out. I have learnt how return and take books which is something I didn’t know before. I would recommend this scheme to anyone who would like to learn new skills and to try something new.”

The remaining members, in particular Zainab Firdos (who began volunteering from January 2013), Samantha Ross (who also joined from January this year) and Anush and Phoung all gained something extra for their hard work as it has been National Volunteers’ Week from 1st June – 7th June. These four all volunteered during this period and have been awarded with a special Volunteers’ Week certificate which grants them a special thank you for the work they do as volunteers.

The rest of the volunteer team need not feel left out though for they too will all receive their rewards within the final week of attendance from 24th June. All are also eligible – and will be applying for – the VInspired 10 hour volunteer award which is a nationally recognised volunteers award that will add real value to any CV or UCAS application.

This year’s intake of volunteers has proven very successful and beneficial to running the library service for the benefit of students and shows that HNC students are more than happy to contribute to the college community with dedicated time and good effort. The scheme will continue next year – with some of the current team members beginning their final year – and the volunteers scheme is always open for more students to join in throughout the year.

HNC Library has yet again shown that as well as visiting and leaving with a good book and lots of research material students could also leave the college with a unique and excellent volunteer experience that will benefit them in the work place or at University.