There has been much debate about the controversial move for public libraries in the UK to recruit volunteers instead of paid, qualified staff.

Today I saw an advert from my own local county council, seeking unpaid volunteers to help run a particular part of the library service.

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They are seeking volunteers to assist with story times, to work alongside qualified staff.

I’m sorry, but this really should be a job carried out exclusively by professional library staff.

Providing a story time (or a Rhyme Time as it is called here) for young children and their families is an important activity, and while I’m sure some people out there could undoubtedly do a good job as a volunteer in this role (myself included!) why should they have to?

Children’s librarians are more than capable, and, indeed qualified; recruiting volunteers to help them undermines the librarian profession.