This story is to introduce York Explore and explain the work that we do as volunteers here.
One of our jobs is to help customers with the book scanners. If you want to take a book out or bring a book back you scan your card and put the book under the scanner and the machine lets the Library know where the book is. You can ask for a receipt that tells you when the book needs to come back. If a customer is not sure how to use the machine, we can help.
If you're wondering what an archive is, it's a room where lots of books, plans, important documents and objects from the history of York are stored for safekeeping. It's really cold in there to help preserve everything that's stored there.
One of our jobs is cataloguing old plans so the general public can find them, if needed, but only to look at. We give them numbers so they're easy to find.
Catriona gives us a stack of plans and a drawer number, tape measure, pencil and stickers. We have a copy of the database that we use to catalogue the information. We give each plan a number, which has to be written on using pencil (not pen!) and sometimes a sticker if the plan is in protective plastic. We look at the plan and write a description, the scale used, date, measurements, title, what it's made of and if it needs repairing.
If we're stuck with something or have any worries or concerns we can ask Explore staff to help or our Job Coach from Blueberry Academy, Dom, who is here to help us with our tasks for the day.
Cameron brings a packed lunch and likes to eat this with staff in the staff room. Natalie likes to eat in the cafe with Dom and other volunteers. Everyone is really friendly and always happy to help. There's a warm atmosphere. We especially like working with Kate, another volunteer. We get on really well.
Natalie's favourite job is shelving books. Around the library you will see black trolleys with books on. These are books that have been brought back and need to go back onto the shelves. We look at the spine of each book to check the number and see what category it belongs to. We then find the right shelf and look at the author's name and, using the alphabet, we find that author's place on the shelf.
We also have a list of books customers have ordered which we have to find. This is ok, unless you have a children's picture book to find. This is because they are not in alphabetical order!
Cameron's favourite job is scanning books that have come back and finding out which library they are from, so they can be returned. We scan the book and the screen shows us which library it comes from. We then write on a strip of paper the code. For example, Tang Hall would be TH. This then goes into the plastic containers called 'baths'. When the baths are full, Darren takes all of the books back to the appropriate library.