Volunteers from Glascote Community Managed Library had a stall at Amington Fete at Landau Forte Academy on Saturday June 17th 2017. With glorious weather for the entire day the event was a huge success, with around 30 stalls on site and 100s of people present to see the entertainment on offer and chat to the stall holders.
The volunteers managed to join 10 new library members on the day, promoted the library and volunteering in general, and made lots of new contacts.
This month I have delivered a short presentation on the community library model, the three community libraries in the Stafford cluster and plans for the future, to new County Council Members.
This was an opportunity to raise the profile of the community libraries, to talk about the great progress that has been made as well as some of the successes that the community libraries are achieving. There was a lot of interest in the community library model and a lot of questions asked.
It is really important that we keep Members informed of what is happening in the community libraries, as they can then be great advocates for the service in the wards that they represent.
We’ve been continuing with our afternoon tea celebrations for Volunteers’ Week, to maximise the time when most volunteers could join us. This month was the turn of Baswich and Holmcroft Libraries!
Library customers and groups using the library also joined us for the celebrations, including our Knit and Natter Group at Baswich and our Job Club and Reading Group at Holmcroft.
A celebration event for our volunteers is our way of showing our volunteers how much we value the time and commitment they give to their library volunteering role and helping further embed Staffordshire County Councils Libraries network into the heart of their communities.
Over the last few weeks I have with the support of a colleague been talking to local residents in Brereton to raise the profile of the community library and the need for more volunteers to come forward. With over 400 doors knocked and leaflets delivered there have been a further 5 very welcome expressions of interest to follow up, not all of these have materialised into volunteers but hopefully 3 will.
Conversation has helped to promote Brereton library and spread awareness of volunteer opportunities within community managed libraries
Volunteer Co-ordinator for Hednesford Community Managed Library, Sue Horton, was presented with a certificate in recognition of the wonderful volunteering work that she is doing.
Sue has been at the helm of Hednesford Community library from the beginning when she readily took on the role of volunteer coordinator.
She oversees the rotas ensuring that the library is operating fully, is mindful of buddying new volunteers with those more experienced to give support whilst building confidence.
With support Sue and her team are increasing the activities programme and have reintroduced Baby Bounce and Rhyme.
Valuing the libraries role within the community on two recent occasions Sue has been proactive to keep the library open into Saturday afternoon to support and be part of community events.
Well done Sue
The Big Community Conversation, Celebrating “making a difference in our communities” organised by1000 Lives Network in partnership with CHAD research centre, Staffordshire University, Stoke City Council, Staffordshire County Council, Middleport Matters, REACH (Asist), OPEN, My Community Matters and the Big Lottery
Sue’s volunteering demonstrates real commitment to keep services local for the benefit of the community, valuing both the library and the community that it serves. Receiving this award shows that her commitment is valued and appreciated.
In a partnership between Business Enterprise Support (BES), Newcastle-under-Lyme College and St Marys Catholic Primary School children from the primary school were invited into the library to program Lego Robots. The children programmed the robots to move around, and then competed in a number of practical challenges.
This was supported by students from Newcastle-under-Lyme College, who offered their expertise and assisted the school children with their programming.
This highlights an excellent partnership between the three organisations, and raises the profile of BES and Silverdale Community Managed Library in the community.
The children could see the library as a fun and exciting place to visit while learning at the same time. The students from the college gained valuable experience in teaching others, while feeling pride in what they were helping the children achieve.
Werrington Community Library celebrated its first anniversary on Sunday 21st May 2017. The specially invited guests and were treated to fabulous buffet kindly provided by Funky Fillers. Everyone who was instrumental in the start came along to celebrate and enjoy the festivities. The Committee members had their chance to share their experiences and to thank the volunteers who too have been a pivotal part of the process. The group launched its impressive new website, do take a look – http://werringtoncommunitylibrary.org.uk/
Ever the entrepreneur, David Shaw, the Chairperson managed to raise some funds on the day from the raffle! Members of the public were not left out either, they were treated to tea and cake on the Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
The community of Werrington have been very vocal in their praise of the volunteers who have successfully managed the library for one year. Staffordshire County Council has been able to continue offering a professional library service and has benefited from the group offering additional activities and events too. Everyone one has appreciated the time and efforts of the volunteers and taking time out to reflect on what has been achieved is very important and satisfying for all concerned.
Staffordshire Libraries have been piloting a training project with volunteers to give them more confidence to make the most of the stock in their Community Managed Libraries. It has been piloted with the volunteers in 5 community managed libraries across Staffordshire; of these 2 of them are in the Newcastle area – Audley and Silverdale Community Managed Libraries.
It has been developed alongside Leicestershire and Warwickshire libraries, with the remit to promote ‘reading for pleasure’ in the communities that the libraries serve.
Staffordshire Libraries Stock Services and Activities Officers and Community Support Officers have delivered initial training to a number of volunteers in both Audley and Silverdale Community Managed Libraries. Volunteers were given a number of toolkits to help them with their training. We are going to revisit the libraries in a months’ time to see how things are going and find out off the volunteers how successful they think it was. Watch this space!
This is a very positive project that will promote reading for pleasure and raise the profile of libraries in communities. It is also something really interesting that volunteers can take part in and an exciting way to develop their skills.