Living Library
A Unique Volunteer Service

Retired volunteer service worker at the library.Librarians at Douglas College in British Columbia offer on opportunity for volunteer service unique in Canada.

When someone searches the Douglas College library for information, the material could come in traditional forms, or . . .

. . .could come as a part of the living library.

This volunteer service matches those who want information with experts who have it.

Let's say a student wants information on teaching in Asia. Douglas College has a volunteer expert, Leda Reaume, who will meet with the student to share inside information.

Or maybe a member of the public wants information on energy conservation. No problem. Brian Miltmore is on call.

And Julian Gardiner is available for those who need help writing proposals.

This free volunteer service matches experts with those who want information. The library lists the volunteers with their areas of expertise. The person who wants information emails the person he or she wants to borrow to arrange a mutually agreeable time. They meet at the library check-out desk, register on the Living Library sign-in sheet, and then head to the cafeteria for an interesting discussion.

The library even provides coffee vouchers to encourage discussion.

So far, no one has been fined for keeping a volunteer too long.

If this is a volunteer service you would like to consider in your community, encourage your librarian to contact the librarians at Douglas College.