Thing 22 looks at volunteering in an unpaid capacity to further our career. An emotive subject as far as libraries are concerned with an increase in volunteers being used to replace paid, qualified, professional librarians. I’m not going to get into a long and protracted argument about that, suffice to say my opinion is that this is a bad idea.
The question asked for this thing is have we volunteered to further our career and the short answer is no. Well, actually, yes but at school! I volunteered to work in the school library. I was 12 yrs old. I loved it. That was the closest I got to volunteering in a library.
Would I volunteer now? Depends on the reason. If it is an area of work I really would like to explore then probably yes, but only in a learning capacity. I would not volunteer to do a job where the previous occupant had been a fully paid Librarian/professional. I would volunteer to work alongside said Library professional in order to learn from them, gain experience and their valuable knowledge and guidance. So far I’ve never had the opportunity. There are odd days to job shadow but again this doesn’t happen as often as I would like.
I have actually done volunteering work with the National Trust. I worked in the education department showing groups of primary school children how the Tudors and Stuarts lived. I did this 3 days a week and at weekends I also worked as a volunteer room steward. I did this during our “year off” from work, it was our Gap Year but later in life! Very interesting work, great fun, learnt a lot and the experience has helped in two job applications.