What our work experience teens thought of our library

Throughout the year, RBKC libraries welcome a number of volunteers and work experience students from neighbouring secondary schools. For many, it can be their first introduction to the world of work and for us, it’s a great opportunity to reintroduce them to the library service and the vast range of services we now offer.

Shimon and Mohammed both completed a two-week stay at North Kensington Library and share a little about their experiences there. Continue reading “What our work experience teens thought of our library”

“I have gained so many different skills and feel more confident in myself “

This was Annie’s second summer with us at Brompton and we were really pleased to have her back. Annie was eager to learn, easy to get on with, hard-working and enjoyed engaging with the public, especially the kids signing up to the Summer Reading Challenge so we’re sorry to lose her again. Work experience and volunteering can be a very positive experience for both the branch and the volunteer but, as ever, you get out of it as much as you put in and, as you can see from Annie’s blog, she put in a lot!


During my summer holidays, I had the opportunity to do some volunteering at Brompton Library. I had previously completed my work experience there back in 2011 and I loved it so much that I decided to go back there again!

Whilst volunteering at Brompton, it felt like I had never left and had been working there all my life.  I was given a range of different tasks which I enjoyed. I was settled in the work room where I was given a list of tasks to do such as stock work, cataloguing, transit boxes, discarding the books, reservation reports, shelving and shelf-checking. The work room was the best place to mingle with other staff which made the job even more entertaining!

My main role at Brompton this time was to help out with The Summer Reading Challenge. I had to socialize with the children and get their parents to sign them up and help them complete their challenge by providing them with their rewards each time they had completed one book.

On Thursdays, the  library ran regular iPad sessions, where kids could come in and try out the new Mystical Maze app which would allow them to play games and unlock different mystical characters by scanning posters around the library using the camera on the iPad. I won’t lie to you, I myself had immense fun whilst setting up the apps and testing them!

My time at Brompton has been great. It is such a great place to work, not just for learning new skills and gaining confidence in talking to the public, but also the friendships you gain there is amazing. For every day you work at Brompton, you are never bored and are always entertained.  You feel like you’re part of the team. For every task you fulfil, you feel like you have accomplished something and you learn something new every day. You get to interact with different people young and old. It makes you feel more grown up and independent.I highly recommend doing some sort of work experience at Brompton or at any other library because it’s worth it.

Leaving Brompton, I have gained so many different skills and have felt more confident in myself in terms of helping the public. I think in any place you work at, it’s important that you feel happy and feel proud of what you have achieved, and that’s what being at Brompton Library does. The team at Brompton are amazing and are such wonderful people.

Don’t worry, Brompton, I’ll be back in the future!


Ever wondered about work experience in the library?

photo 3Steph Webb, our Librarian at Brompton Library, writes:

All young people are now expected to do some form of work experience in the field of their choice and it is their responsibility to arrange it.

Our latest work experience pupil, Conrad, attends Brompton Oratory school and had ideally wanted to work in a bookshop or library.

Taking on a work experience pupil is a considerable commitment for any organisation. The aim is to try to give them an idea of what the job entails and give them some experience of doing it and this involves giving them an induction, training and mentoring whilst on the job. We also aim to give them a sense of responsibility so expect the same standards of time-keeping and teamwork as other members of staff. From our viewpoint it’s always interesting to see how the pupils differ, some are really conscientious and interested, others less so!

Here is Conrad’s experience in his own words:

From Chinua Achebe to Stephan Zweig – My Work experience at Brompton Library

By Conrad Pollock-Spadavecchia

The first week into my work experience at Brompton Library has really taught me a lot about library work and how important it is for the local community. I have been able to witness and take part firsthand in many important aspects of working here, including going behind the scenes, making sure certain books are delivered to different branches, cataloguing ones that have gone missing and helping out customers when they need it.

I have come to see that no job, no matter how easy or tranquil it may look from the outside, really is quite a challenge in its own way. The library is no exception to this. A problem will always come to the library, be it in the form of a tricky customer, a sick employee who needs their shift covered, or in hunting down that one annoying book that keeps creeping up on the lists.

I would overall say that my time in the library has been an enjoyable and unique experience. It has shown me that there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from some decent hard effort, and that tea breaks really are a treat! Therefore, I believe that my time here has been put to good use, and I look forward to using the library in the future, safe in the knowledge that it is in very competent hands.

Thank you, Conrad!