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Volunteers for the Stuart Hall Library

INIVA RivingtonPlace CJ 016 web

Image: Carlos Jiménez, 2018.

Dear Library users and friends,

We are looking for volunteers to help support the library team deliver Iniva’s mission and programme. This volunteer opportunity would be invaluable for:

  • pre-library school applicants to acquire basic library skills;
  • those who have an interest in conducting research on a particular theme in the collection e.g. critical theory, politics of cultural identity and the work of Stuart Hall;
  • those who have an interest in study of art histories and geographies;
  • those who have an interest in archives; and
  • those who seek to work in an art library or arts institution.

The experience offered will be tailor-made to support the volunteers’ future professional interests in working in museums, libraries, archives or galleries. You will gain valuable insight into how a special library collection is managed and organised, working on tasks including, frontline reference desk services, indexing and abstracting, cataloguing, shelving and general administration.

Volunteers may also participate in library tours, providing event support (e.g. reading groups, public speaking), researching and preparing reading lists, and other tasks around the library collection.

Depending on your areas of interest, you will gain experience in the following areas:

  • Providing a high standard of customer service for all Library users including welcoming users, staffing the reception desk, responding to enquiries and supporting users in the use of the library resources;
  • Assisting with re-shelving library materials and moving loaded trolleys to the appropriate areas when required;
  • Assisting with researching the collection by creating reading lists, source notes and key tour material;
  • Assisting with the journal collection from maintenance to indexing journal articles as part of the cataloguing process;
  • Assisting with cataloguing and classifying material in MARC to RDA standards;
  • Supporting the coordination, delivery and documentation of Iniva events, including supporting artist workshops, library talks and artist residencies, if required;
  • Contributing content for blog posts and social media when required; and
  • Undertaking any other appropriate duties, as determined by the Library and Archive Manager.

Skills and Experience

To gain the most from this opportunity, you will have the following:

  • Knowledge of how to use library search catalogues is required;
  • Interest in and empathy for the work and ethos of Iniva;
  • Excellent attention to detail;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with a customer focus;
  • Ability to learn to shelve library materials accurately and speedily according to a library classification scheme following instruction;
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision;
  • Provide a high standard of regular and reliable attendance;
  • Flexibly adapt to changing work requirements and;
  • Be willing to undergo training to effectively carry out duties as may be required from time to time by the Library Manager. 

Additional areas of experience:

  • Strong interest to develop a future in the library and information profession and/or working in museums, galleries and archives;
  • Strong interest in contemporary international visual arts;
  • Interest in one or more of the following subject areas: critical theory, politics of cultural identity (including race, gender, sexualities, class, subculture and the legacies of colonialism) and the work of Stuart Hall;
  • Interest in cataloguing and indexing in library management systems such as KOHA;
  • Interest or experience working with social media and web editing using WordPress; and
  • Knowledge of any other language would be beneficial.


We require all volunteers to attend an induction and training which may be delivered through organised training sessions, work shadowing or under supervision.


£10 towards lunch and travel expenses per day.


To gain maximum benefit from this volunteer opportunity you will need to be available one day per week between Tuesday to Friday, 10am-5pm or Saturday, 10am-4pm for 3-6 months.

The deadline for applications is Monday 29 April 2019 at midnight.

This call for volunteers is now closed. Look out for further announcements.