Here at Manchester Libraries we are all about lending – books, audio books, e-books – and lots more to the people of Manchester and the wider world. But there is another kind of lending and this time we are the borrowers on behalf of our lovely library customers. This lending is of a very different kind – it is lending of time, care, attention, creativity, imagination and love. The people who are doing this lending to us are our amazing Library Volunteers.  It is fairly safe to say that a significant proportion of the wonderful things our libraries do would not be able to take place without our brilliant volunteers who pop up just when you need them and help us to put on all the many events for children and adults we offer.

So in this Stay at Home time as we take a pause to re-consider our lives, I want to tell you about one of our volunteers and how she lends her talents. Tanya is a young person who has until recently been volunteering since January at Beswick Library in East Manchester. A Duke of Edinburgh volunteer, she takes time out every Saturday morning to help us run our busy Hello Saturday activity club for children and parents. We offer crafts, games, fun, art and lots more – it’s a great time for children and parents to share, make friends and be creative in their local library and it’s completely free.

When we explained that our Libraries had to close because of the Covid-19 emergency, Tanya said she wanted to carry on helping out and so she sent us this fabulous and simple Easter Bunny craft video which you can see below for children to do at home.

We talked to Tanya about why she enjoys her volunteering and here’s what she had to say. 

“Libraries are a safe environment. They’re free and everyone has access to a range of activity in all libraries.”

What does Tanya get out of volunteering?

“It is a great opportunity to interact. The staff are wonderful – always ready to help! (Of course we are!) Volunteering gives me the opportunity to work with children and makes me more creative. It helps me think outside the box and it had been a valuable experience. It has taught me how to interact with kids so that they actually listen whilst enjoying the craft.”


Beswick Library Officer Ryan who supervises Tanya says he is very lucky to have such a talented volunteer. “She has progressed in leaps and bounds and her confidence has grown immensely since she first arrived. It really shows in the creative work she does at the Hello Saturday clubs which we hope to reopen when lockdown ends. We were so grateful that Tanya wanted to carry on volunteering right through this present time and sent us her little craft film for kids and families to enjoy and copy.”

Check it out with the link above – we hope you enjoy it too!