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National Citizen Service volunteers challenge perceptions with Ipswich County Library placement

{% include /c/figure.html src="/images/featured/featured-ncs.jpg" alt="Ipswich County Library assistant manager Charmain Osborne (left) and manager Marion Harvey with National Citizen Service volunteers" caption="Ipswich County Library assistant manager Charmain Osborne (left) and manager Marion Harvey with National Citizen Service volunteers" %}

This week (29 July-2 August), a group of twelve National Citizen Service volunteers assisted with services and activities at Ipswich County Library and learned about the many things the library offers.

The placement was part of a four-week course for 15-17 year-olds that focuses on building confidence and becoming your 'better self' through adventure, work experience and social action. The team shared our goals of changing perceptions, appealing to more customers and ensuring that everyone understands the services we offer.

This was a learning curve for the team itself, as team leader Brandon admitted: "We have to put our hands up, out of twelve people, only two of us in our team knew that libraries were more than just books before we started."

The team, who have named themselves 'Team Fireflies', have handed out over 140 flyers detailing how visiting the library can help mental health and wellbeing, helped set up the Northgate Room for a wedding ceremony, assisted with a slime-making workshop and the library's Open Space session, run an afternoon tea and more.

Brandon continued: "Libraries cater for literally everyone. Ipswich County Library is not the standard definition of a library. They offer so much, but when you hear the word 'library', you think of the books. People need to come and see for themselves, there’s so much to do."