Volunteer at GWL

What volunteers do

Volunteers are involved in all aspects of our work and in all our projects: delivering workshops, tour guiding, researching our archive, cataloguing, reception, admin work, literacy and numeracy tutoring and much more.

We always try to find a volunteer role which matches our volunteers’ interests and motivations.  Some volunteers come with particular skills, others may not have worked before but are keen to learn and try new things. Whatever our volunteers’ experiences and skills, we are keen to find a way to involve them in our work.

Volunteering at Glasgow Women’s Library from Glasgow Women’s Library on Vimeo.

What we offer

Our Volunteer Programme is rooted in our Core Values and ensures women from all walks of life can contribute and get involved in our work.   All volunteers receive a full induction when they start, ongoing support from staff and more experienced volunteers, and training as required.

The support we offer is tailored to each volunteer and takes into consideration their motivations for volunteering, whether that’s to meet people, learn, play an active role in the community or share skills and knowledge with others.

It is difficult to sum up all of the ways in which volunteers benefit from volunteering, so below are some quotes which illustrate the difference volunteering can make to women’s lives:

“Having not worked for a number of years it has given the confidence to apply for jobs and to build my confidence in a work situation doing work I really enjoy.”
“Allows me to engage with art in a space where I feel comfortable and confident. Makes me happy just being in the library and feeling part of it. Provided a routine and regularity to my week.”
“It has really been a whole amazing experience for me l never thought volunteering could have made me feel so alive and wanting to learn more. Pushing me but in a good way. Helping with the amazing work that the GWL does and being part of this organisation who value their volunteers.”
“Volunteering helps my reading, learning about the archives and about history, meeting new people, getting involved in events, learning new skills”

You can read more about our current and previous volunteers’ experiences here.

We also refund travel expenses (up to £5.00).

What we are looking for

Sometime we will recruit for volunteers with particular skills or experience but above all we are looking for:

  • Share GWL’s vision and values
  • Are familiar with our work, through borrowing books, attending events, groups or exhibitions
  • Are flexible, friendly and fun
  • Have a positive outlook and optimism
  • Value others contributions and views
  • Are supportive team members

And who are interested in developing:

  • Communication skills
  • An understanding of the GWL team structure and function
  • An understanding of feminism, the importance of ‘women’s space’ and the history and uniqueness of GWL
  • A willingness to learn
  • A desire to make their experiences of working as enjoyable as possible
  • An awareness of equalities issues: racism, homophobia, disability issues, mental health issues, the impact of violence against women etc.

There is no set requirement in terms of volunteers’ time commitment, this ranges from a few hours per month to a full day per week.  In addition, we would ask volunteers to make time for an induction (1.5 hours) and to attend one of our regular This Is Who We Are sessions (3 hours) to find out more about our history, values and work.

How to apply

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please look out for volunteering opportunities posted below and complete a Volunteer Application Form.

GWL Volunteer Application Form

We also accept general applications for volunteering but please note that these are only considered every 3-4 months and therefore we may not respond to your application immediately.

Please return your completed application to Glasgow Women’s Library, 23 Landressy Street, Glasgow, G40 1BP or email it to info@womenslibrary.org.uk

What happens once we receive your application

We will acknowledge receipt of your application as soon as possible and usually within two weeks.

Due to the high volume of applications and offers of help, all of which we are truly grateful for, we are unable to offer everyone a volunteer role.  In line with our Equality Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan 2016-2019 we particularly welcome applications from women from our neighbourhood (G40 postcodes), and from women who may be facing barriers to volunteering or to participating in their community such as women with English as a second language, women with disabilities or women with a mental health problem.

We also prioritise applications from women who have already visited us and are already familiar with our work, through borrowing books, attending events, groups or exhibitions.

If we think we are able to offer you a volunteer role, our Volunteer Coordinator will invite you to an initial meeting so that you can find out more and tell us more about why you want to get involved.  Following this informal discussion we will agree on a role which matches your interests and a start date which suits you.

If we are unable to offer you a volunteer role we will try to suggest other ways in which you can get involved or signpost you to other organisations looking for volunteers.   You are also welcome to contact us again after a few months to see if any opportunities become available.

For more details about our recruitment process and other aspects of our volunteering programme, please see our Volunteer Policy.