Volunteers make a vital contribution to the life and success of the Lit & Phil. There are many ways in which you can become involved with the Society

Every volunteer’s contribution, great or small, is much appreciated and without it the Society would be much the poorer.

Apart from helping the Society, we know that volunteers enjoy the activities they take part in. It’s a great way to meet people, experience a wide range of events and activities, and generally be part of the social life of the Lit & Phil.

How you can be involved:

Serving on the Board of Trustees

Ordinary or named Family members may stand for election to the Board. Normally these elections take place in May every year and members are notified in advance with full details of how to do this.

Assisting at Events

With approximately 200 events taking place in the Lit & Phil every year, volunteers are a crucial part of their smooth running. We hold lectures, concerts, book launches, readings and much more. We are looking for people willing to introduce speakers, steward, help set out chairs and serve drinks. Not every task will appeal to everyone, of course!


Our voluntary bookbinding group is supervised by a retired professional bookbinder and does a great deal to tackle the library’s backlog of damaged or deteriorating books.

Leading Guided Tours

We organise regular guided tours of the building, as well as tours on request from groups such as Local History Societies. The popularity of tours is ever increasing so we do need more people to join our team of guides. Full training will be given.

Greeting Visitors

We have recently established a team of 'greeters' who are on hand as often as possible welcome visitors to the library and to answer any questions they may have. As with leading guided tours, training will be given.

Serving in the Coffee Hatch

Over the last fewyears, volunteers have been helping serve refreshments in our coffee hatch – one of the most popular and revered institutions of the Lit & Phil. Training will be given and your commitment might only be once or twice per month. We also ask for volunteers to wash tea towels and wash and iron tablecloths.

Stuffing Envelopes

At least four times a year we send out mailings to members and we ask volunteers to stuff envelopes with newsletters, Annual Reports etc. It is a very sociable activity – one of our most popular activities amongst volunteers.

In addition, there are often new or one-off opportunities for volunteers.

 If you wish to be part of the Lit & Phil’s team of volunteers please contact the Librarian,  Kay Easson keasson@litandphil.org.uk in the first instance.

There are so many opportunities to contribute at the Lit & Phil


Read More

As a member you can borrow most books published after 1850 (but not all at once). You can also access wi-fi in the Library and benefit from priority booking at some events. By joining the Lit & Phil, you are also supporting this wonderful institution, so thank you!

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 Check if we have that book you've been looking for. You don't need to be a member to search the catalogue; search by title, author, keyword or subject. Members can then reserve the book to collect later.