Cannock Community Library Displays

The Community Managed Library volunteers across the Cannock Cluster are showing increased confidence and are actively creating displays to support both National events and promote book stock.

Here are some pictures of recent displays

So What?

These displays show that the volunteers have increased confidence in their own creative ability and that they have taken ownership of the community libraries and are comfortable in their role in creating a welcome library environment. They also demonstrate an awareness of National promotions and how libraries are relevant and can be involved and how stock promotion can be used to help improve library performance. This shows that the Community library service is in safe hands.

Norton Canes Community Managed Library

Norton Canes Community Managed Library were recently presented with a beautiful fresh floral arrangement to raise awareness of National flower arranging day which was on May 6th 2017.

The arrangement was created by the local Norton Canes flower arranger’s group and included carnations and alstromeria as well as other flowers. The flower arrangers asked for the library to display it in order to promote their group but also so that the community could enjoy the flowers. This provided an opportunity for the library volunteers to make a display of books on flower arranging – a win, win.

So What?

This demonstrates that the library is being regarded as a welcome and valuable community space. A well as the visual display it is also providing community “what’s on” information to support library visitors whilst supporting a local group in their promotion.

Mining Memorial Hednesford

Hednesford is an old mining community. The dedication of phase 4 of the mining memorial at Hednesford was held on 22nd April 2017. The service was led by the Right reverend Nigel McCulloch KCVO formerly Bishop of Manchester.

The garden is next to Hednesford Community Managed Library. The memorial composes of bricks which have the names of local miners engraved on them and have been laid around the path edges.

The library volunteers extended the Saturday opening till 4pm in order to support the event acting as a base for dignitaries to be welcomed and enjoy refreshments. The library visit count for the day was over 400 which well exceed the usual number of visits.

Appreciation for the library support was shown in a letter from the Chase Arts for Public Spaces committee.

So What?

Supporting this event demonstrates that the library volunteers want the library to be seen as a Community hub. It is a good example of partnership working and raised the library profile.

Check Mates

Blythe Bridge Library have been really surprised by the interest in its new Chess club. Led by volunteer, Paul Mounteney, more tables have had to be moved out in readiness for Mondays from 2-5pm. Beginners are very welcome as there are experienced chess masters on hand ready to pass on their knowledge. Some young people have been intrigued too and have come over to have a go. Paul says “he knew he’d got one young person hooked when they actually turned their mobile phone over on the desk so as not to get distracted!” Such is the power of chess. It’s a great way exercise the mind, meet new people and occasionally feel great when you thrash your opponent!

So What?

The library is fast becoming a social hub in Blythe with activities on offer that bring people closer together. New people are attracted to the library and regular weekly chess sessions are a great way to make new friends. Our chess book issues are on the up too!

Easter Eggtravagansa

Werrington Library Knit and Knatter Group were extremely busy just before Easter knitting little chicks and bunnies ready to sell in the library. The first batch ready to hatch were completely sold out and so the group managed to rustle up a second batch, such was their popularity. People bought little crème eggs to sit under them and gave them as gifts, the knitted bunnies and chicks sold raised £110.00 for the library.

The Guess the name of the Bunny (a lovely white knitted bunny) proved a hit too and raised £25 in total. The group charged 25p per name to have a guess. And the winning name of the bunny? Kevin!

The children were also treated to a Paint a Pot event in the holidays on 11th April with bunnies and hedgehogs available to paint. A great time was had by all and as you can see there are some fabulous artists in the making.

Throughout the holidays the children loved taking part in the forever popular Easter Hunt in the library. Posters of bunnies, chicks and all things spring like were hidden and the children had to mark on the answer sheet when they found them. Luckily Brian Hughes, the Library Manager, did not do the hiding so he genuinely did not know where the posters were when the littles asked him to help. This activity was fun and more importantly for parents, free!

So What?

Easter is an ideal time to offer events and activities as the children have a long time off school. New people are drawn into the library by the painting events held and word soon spreads about where to get the cute little bunnies from, again bringing in people who might not normally visit the library. The Library has raised its profile and is becoming established as a fun place to visit. The £135 raised by the Knit and Knatterers is a credit to them and will go towards the library funds.

Kingsley Remembers 1914

All the Kingsley Men, by Martyn Hordern and Kenneth Unwin, was donated to Cheadle Library at an event on 15th May. The book is a tribute to the fallen of the Parish of Kingsley, Staffordshire. It features 159 men and a single woman who served in the armed forces during World War One. Many of the survivors carried both physical and mental scars which affected them for the rest of their lives. This book set out to record who the men were, where they lived and what is known of their service. 180 people have been researched and more information is continually being discovered following publicity from the launch of the book and its sales. The photograph shows the Martyn Horden handing over the book to a volunteer, Ruth Stonier at an event to help people organise their own Family Tree. Volunteer, Sue Barrett, who led the event at Cheadle Library is available for 1-1 sessions also. The book has sold over 200 copies, the money raised has been through donations as the Heritage Lottery provided funding to support the project and the book.

If anyone is interested there are a few books left and they can be ordered from the website

They are available for a suggested donation of £5.00.

So What?

Cheadle Library has benefited from the enormous amount of time that Sue Barrett, volunteer, has given to promote her love of local history. She has delivered countless individual 1-1 sessions, organised workshops and researched and displayed excellent exhibitions in the library. Her dedication to her subject is admirable and it is her passion that sparks other people to start researching their family history until the point of obsession! Without volunteers like Sue people would not know where to start and sometimes it is too late for them to ask the right questions to family members as they have regrettably passed on. Sue can put them on the right track.

Egg-citing Easter Activities at Kinver Community Library

Once again the talented volunteers of Kinver Community Managed Library hosted fun and games to entertain the local children over the Easter holiday.

Children were challenged to find all the Easter Eggs in a treasure hunt around the library that ran for the whole 2 weeks, where every child got a prize for taking part, and a craft session to make beautiful textile collage bunny masks took place while the library was closed one Wednesday afternoon. If the mess made was an indication of the amount of fun had, then everyone had a blast.

The photo shows a proud mask maker and the messy mid-activity state of the work table.

 So What?

Over 50 entries were handed in for the Easter Egg treasure hunt and 15 children attended the fully-booked craft session highlighting that activities such as this are most welcome in the community and also the volunteers are reaching new audiences with their creativity and resourcefulness.


Terry teaches technology at Penkridge Library

After retiring from the hectic world of training and technology, IT specialist Terry decided he still had a bit more to give. Since March 2017, Terry has been offering his services as an IT Buddy at Penkridge Library for a 2 hour drop-in session every Wednesday. He will assist customers of any level of skill get online, help with job seeking or using a laptop. 

The photo shows IT Buddy volunteer Terry showing a customer around the World Wide Web

So What? 

Terry has had a steady flow of customers with a wide range of queries highlighting a need for this new service within the community. He is also utilising and showcasing the Public Access PCs and the online services available in the library.

A staff member has remarked “Terry is doing fantastic! He has been here this morning with 2 customers again.  They are booking in advance for a session with him. One lady this morning, said when she came in, “I’ll only be here 5 minutes and he will have had enough of me”. 55 minutes later was when she left.  All I could hear from her while they were working was Wow! Wow! She was really pleased when she left”.

Working together for World Health Day at Brewood Community Managed Library

Brewood Community Managed Library hosted a World Health Day event involving our partners South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust and other local organisations. This promotion took place on 7th April to coincide with the World Health Organisation’s campaign to raise awareness, reduce the stigma and highlight support for those suffering with depression and saw displays from the volunteers, presentations of  ‘5 ways to well-being’ from SSSFT and demonstrations from Beacon Centre for the Blind over the 2 hour session.













Photos show attendees viewing presentation material, the fantastic display created by the volunteers and the Beacon Centre mobile unit which parked outside the library.

So What?

The event raised the profile of the library within the community, highlighting the work of the volunteers to a wider audience by attracting 15 people and reinforced the partnership between the 2 organisations reflecting the shared ethos of reading for pleasure and well- being.

Shobnall Project

Ian Burley, Community Support Officer for South East Staffordshire Libraries, is involved in a project based in Shobnall Ward, Burton-upon-Trent, helping to improve community information. On Thursday April 20th Ian attended a Fun Day at the Princess Street Training Centre in Shobnall. Around 15 other local organisations were also represented, including Burton Albion, Citizen’s Advice, Support Staffordshire, Talk English, local nurseries and playgroups and representatives from Staffordshire County Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council and Shobnall Parish Council. Advice was on offer for jobs and careers, housing, community learning, childcare and volunteering.

So What?

17 people registered to become library members, free books were given out to local children, and library services such as Baby, Bounce and Rhyme Sessions and free PC use and Wifi access were promoted. In addition 4 people expressed an interest in volunteering to help with the wider project. The feedback from those who attended the day was overwhelmingly positive.