Young volunteers needed to support Summer Reading Challenge 2023

LIBRARIES in Reading are again looking for young people aged 14 to 18 who are enthusiastic about reading to encourage children to take part in and complete this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, ‘Ready, Set, Read!’

Tasks will include discussing the books younger children have been reading and suggesting more books they might like, assisting library staff with Reading Challenge events and craft activities, and handing out rewards to participants.

Training, supervision and support will be provided and it is a great opportunity to develop new skills and experience for the future and gain work experience for CVs. Volunteering can also help with accreditation for the Duke of Edinburgh, or Arts Awards.

Volunteers are needed across all of its branches, including Battle Library, Caversham Library, Central Library, Palmer Park Library, Southcote Library, Tilehurst Library and Whitley Library.

The Summer Reading Challenge will run between Saturday 8 July and Saturday 2 September – volunteers will be asked to commit to a minimum of 6 sessions over the summer (days and times would be negotiable with the library branch managers). The library will provide a volunteering certificate and would be happy to supply a reference letter to any volunteers who successfully complete the minimum commitment over the summer.

The closing date for applications is Friday 21 July 2023. For more information and to apply visit: 

Last year, over 30 young people from Reading volunteered with the Library service to support the 2022 Challenge. Aarushi, age 16, who volunteered at Central Library, said: 

"I really enjoyed interacting with different people, learning about their experiences, and also seeing the joy the children got when they finished their books. The progress they made and the enthusiasm they had about reading, was really what stuck out to me."

Meet the 2022 volunteers and see what they had to say about their experience:

The much-loved yearly Summer Reading Challenge will be available in all library branches across Reading from 8 July 2023. Children aged 4 to 11 are challenged to read at least six books over the summer as part of this year’s 'Ready, Set, Read!' challenge, delivered in partnership with national children's charity the Youth Sport Trust.

Find out more on the official challenge website: and once it starts, locally at

Last updated on 23/05/2023