Young Embroiderers at Rising Brook Community Library

Rising Brook Community Managed Library were approached to host a local textile group.  So now, on the second Saturday of every month, the Young Embroiderers and Textile Students Group meet at the library from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

The activity is available for children from the age of 5 upwards and the children learn how to, and then create, some amazing work.  The latest session was making sari silk pictures. 

So What? 

On average 8 children and 9 adults attend the session.  Libraries are safe venues for children and families to meet.  This activity enables local children to socialise and learn a new skill, whilst also providing an opportunity for families to learn together as the adults get involved in the sessions too!

IT Buddies at Kidsgrove Library

Are you looking to learn new things on computers?

We have IT Buddies at Kidsgrove Library who will be able to help.

IT Buddies are volunteers who can give one-to-one tuition on computers in the library. Whether you are looking to learn skills for a new career, research your family tree or want to use a computer for the first time. Volunteer IT Buddies can help you learn.

So What?

This is a fantastic opportunity for members of the community to learn new skills supported by a volunteer.

If you would like to book a session with an IT buddy contact Kidsgrove Library on 0300 111 8000 or email

If you are interest in becoming an IT Buddy please contact Matthew Howard on 07866 921873 or email

Activities Abound at Brewood Community Library

Volunteers at Brewood Community Library have also been busy promoting the library to attract a younger audience.

After running 2 very successful events at half-term, the volunteers created fabulous displays to support Shakespeare Week and World Book Day, have established a regular new story time session in partnership with one local nursery and have delivered a Bookstart session to another local nursery, where 16 pre-schoolers learned all about the library, listened to stories, played Fairy tale bingo and took away their free ‘Discover’ Treasure packs.

The photo shows the hanging creations produced during the half term activity, the Shakespeare week display and a Bookstart ‘Discover’ Treasure pack.

So What?

By delivering a variety of engaging activities, youngsters can see that the library has lots to offer. 11 children attended the ‘Dinosaurs Love Underpants’ half term activity with 22 coming along to the interactive ‘mini beasts’ event. Partnerships with other local organisations are being fostered and many children are getting a very positive first time library experience through story times and Bookstart sessions.


Silverdale Community Managed Library – 4 months on

Silverdale Library became a community managed library on the 3rd January 2017 under the management of Business Enterprise Support (BES). The library has gone from strength to strength!

Since their ‘go live’ date volunteer numbers have increased steadily with all volunteers enjoying their roles. The volunteers and staff at BES are showing an excellent understanding of the functions of a local library, with the leader of a group who have met in the library for many years stating that there is a ‘real buzz about the building again’.

BES are looking to develop and enhance the library in the next few months by installing a number of tablets for public use. This will supplement the existing computers in the library and provide an extra dimension to the service.

So What?

This is a significant step forward for Silverdale Library, Business Enterprise Support and the community of Silverdale, having a library that is running smoothly and looking to develop what the library can offer to the community going forward.

Spreading the Word about Community Managed Libraries

The Community Managed Libraries in Brewood and Kinver have been working hard to spread the word about all the good things that their volunteers have been up to and are planning.

Both libraries are producing a monthly newsletter that is shared around their respective communities. Brewood Community Library Newsletter and Kinver’s “Borrowers’ Bulletin” showcase activities that have taken place, promote upcoming events and highlight new initiatives. Brewood’s Newsletter always contains fabulous photos and Kinver also produce a “Volunteers’ Voice” newsletter aimed solely at the good people who are giving their time to help deliver the service, sharing news and offering handy hints.

Kinver Community Library have recently installed a brand new notice board outside to advertise their many events and have produced an eye-catching bookmark listing their new opening hours and activities on offer.

Both Brewood and Kinver Community Libraries have their own Facebook pages and you can follow Kinver Community Library on Twitter.

The photo shows all the Newsletters with Kinver’s bookmark and the new notice board outside Kinver library.

So What?

By communicating so effectively both libraries are reaching out to new audiences, raising their profile within their local area and beyond and also attracting new volunteers; since they opened the doors as a Community Managed Library 7 new recruits have come forward for Brewood and 5 at Kinver.


Eyes Down for a Full House at Kinver Community Library

Over 130 children from Foley Infants School discovered that libraries aren’t always quiet places to be when they took part in a rambunctious game of author bingo as part of their World Book Day celebrations.

All 6 classes from the school visited Kinver Community Library over 2 days for an exciting session featuring stories, activities and games with a Julia Donaldson theme and we made sure that every child had a library ticket so they can come and visit us again

The photos show volunteer Katherine reading to a spellbound class and some of the activities underway.

So What?

Over 50 new library tickets were given out to those who had never been to the library before, the children learned all about the library and what we have to offer and hopefully we’ve inspired them to go on to develop a love of reading for pleasure.


Glascote Library Volunteers Pub Quiz Team

Several of the volunteers from Glascote Community Managed Library have formed a quiz team and now regularly attend quizzes at a local pub. They love going along and recently finished in a very creditable second place. Their team is called ‘Galaxy’ in honour of the database that they use at the library!

So What?

The volunteers have made friends with each other over several months and are meeting in a social context in the local community away from the library environment. Library Volunteer Mike Long says “As a regular Library Quizzer, I’d like to say that it is a good evening, nice to socialise with colleagues, and an enjoyable meal for those who opt for it. We don’t go expecting to win but we were recently just half a point away from winning!”

South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust

South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust (SSSFT) have been running Community Managed Libraries (CMLs) in Staffordshire for nearly a year now. Barton under Needwood Community Managed Library was the first SSSFT library to go live in May 2016.

So What?

Mark Cardwell, Head of Social Care for the Trust says “SSSFT have been so impressed by the community response to the CML partnership initiative with SCC and for our part we have been able to both better understand the needs of the communities that our CMLs serve and have been able to promote the values and services of SSSFT.  It is still early days and we are particularly keen to explore further opportunities to enhance the wellbeing offer of CMLs and to develop closer links with our wide range of clinical services”.

Shenstone Community Library Group take over the running of their local library

Shenstone Community Library Group officially took over the running of the library on Tuesday March 28th 2017. 33 volunteers have been receiving training since last August and the group have lots of ideas about how to take the library forward, including the introduction of a café, which another 5 volunteers have already signed up to help run. Visits to libraries at Stafford, Barton and Harbury have also helped inspire the volunteers to come up with new ideas.

Watch this space for more information about the café.

So What?

Lynda Jones, Chairperson from the Group says “It has taken 15 months to reach this point and there has been lots of learning on the way. During this time, we feel that strong partnerships have been built, particularly with Staffordshire’s library service but also with members of the community who have given generously of their time and skills. It is clear to us that there is a will to provide a service which benefits the whole community, and we eagerly anticipate the further planned developments”.

Volunteering Opportunities for Young People

Staffordshire Libraries offer volunteering opportunities for people of all ages.  In the 3 community managed libraries in the Stafford area, there are currently 6 young people volunteering at their local library and 5 of these young people are undertaking this volunteering as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award. They carry out a variety of duties from keeping the books in order, finding requests, displaying the stock and getting involved in events.  The photo shows a display that one of the young people created to promote World Book Day at Baswich Community Managed Library on 2 March.

So What?

As well as helping to achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Award, volunteering gives the young people experience of the work place and the opportunity to gain transferable skills such as customer care, interpersonal skills and working as part of a team, which is valuable evidence to put on a further / higher education application forms or on a CV.  For Staffordshire Libraries, it gives us the opportunity to utilise young people’s skills and ideas to improve the library service.