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Volunteering is set in the context of a government-led civic renewal debate. The drive to recruit volunteers is gaining momentum in museums, libraries and archives because of their increasingly important role as engines for community engagement.
The role of libraries as community places has been stressed in MLA’s recent scoping study in the area of health and well-being , where social and health care partners said they are able to reach a wider range of community groups than would otherwise be possible.
One important learning point from this discussion on volunteering is that there is greater potential to attract more volunteers, especially from the ethnic and social communities that libraries serve, also from the younger community groups; and that there is potential to find tasks that complement the skills of permanent staff and enhances volunteer’s skills.