This week we’re celebrating our wonderful team of volunteers. From tour guides and storytellers to cataloguers and conservators, a small but extremely generous group of dedicated men and women donate their time, expertise and experience to the Library.

Here, five our our volunteers share a little bit about their experiences.

Lucia (Tour guide)

Image of a woman standing next to a glass case

“I think what sticks with people at the end of the day are the stories that you tell them, that’s what they remember. I’ve always loved stories, in history and literature and movies and even maths (sometimes people worry so much about the result that they forget about how the story unfolds in equations)!”

Bill  (Manuscripts Collection volunteer)

Image of a man sitting at a desk with a computer

“I first asked about volunteering after arranging for some family letters from WWI to be donated to the Library. I started to catalogue several hundred letters that my father and two of my uncles in the 8th Light Horse wrote when in Broadmeadows, on board a ship on the way overseas, at Gallipoli, and in the desert afterwards. I’m now working on a whole lot of other WWI letters. It’s just fascinating to read the personal stories of these people. So many of them are unknown to the general public, and I hope eventually they will become known.”

Laura (Family programs volunteer)

Image of a woman standing in a colourful room

“My mum has worked here since I was small and I often feel like I grew up inside these walls. I love to read and have a great passion for children’s literacy. One of my favourite things about volunteering is I have been able to see babies grow into pre-preschoolers and watch their love for reading and singing grow. I also love that as an adult I have a weekly outlet to sing, dance and act a little crazy.”

Joy (Pictures Collection volunteer)

Image of a woman looking at a picture in front of a computer

“I love the secret places. I had a studio in Flinders Lane in a dark dingy building for 14 years with 100s of artists over the years. You would come through this dark little entrance and up the stairs to the first floor and people would say to me, this is really spooky. I’d say no it’s not, I love it, as it opened into a light filled inspiring studio, it’s the same here. I’ve been volunteering for five years. I love coming here. It has a sense of stability. The building, the contents, the function, and the way people use it is part of life’s solidness that is starting to dissipate in the world. There’s a whole sense of dis-function in the world. This place has function.”

Norman (Tour guide)

Image of a man giving a tour to visitors in the Library

“I’ve been giving tours for three years, from rare books to Ned Kelly. Some people think the façade of the building is imposing, but inside there’s a world of ideas and opportunity for people. The diversity is staggering. Every single time I visit, I’m exposed to something new. I just feel better when I walk out, I’m better for the experience.”

Find out more about volunteering at the Library.

Learn more about our digital volunteers.

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