Werrington Community Managed Library Volunteers, Hazel and Carol, pictured between the two Christmas trees, were busy getting ready for the Baby Bounce and Rhyme Party on Tuesday 19th December. You may notice our knitted Christmas stockings, available for sale, in the background, made by the volunteers. The children loved the festive fun filled session and were treated to a visit from Santa himself. There are more celebrations planned for the week including a Thank You Party for the Volunteers, a Werrington Breast Baby Party and a craft activity for the children on Friday. One of the most popular activities has been the ‘Guess the Name of the Reindeer’, which raised £50. See the picture of Clarence below!
Everyone loves a Party! Christmas is a perfect time to cement friendships and our volunteers love to offer the children special treat and create happy memories of their visits to the library. The activities are great fun too and go a long way to raise much needed funds.
As part of my role as Community Support Officer I am out and about talking to different groups and organisations about libraries and volunteering. On Tuesday 28th November I attended a networking event with two fabulous display boards put together by the two community libraries I serve. It was great to talk to local councillors about what’s happening in Community Libraries and to show case some of the things the volunteers are doing in Werrington and The Blythe Centre.
Blythe and Werrington have gained from the valuable publicity and exposure at an event with lots of other organisations and Local Councillors. Showcasing the events, activities and commitment of the volunteers is crucial to the future success of the Community Libraries. It is important that those who are making important decisions about the future of Libraries, get to hear how well it’s working. Raising the profile of Community Libraries will encourage more people to start volunteering and visiting the library too.
December has been particular busy this year with the Blythe Centre Community Managed Library hosting its first ever Christmas Panto, The Elves and the Carpenter on Wednesday the 13th. Aimed at families the Panto was a first for Community Managed Libraries and proved to be a special treat.
The Community Managed Library gained lots of visits and families appreciated a local, low cost event and the chance to experience something new. With lots of excited faces it was easy to see it was a winner with the local community.
It’s really important for us to say ‘thank you’ to our volunteers for all their hard work and commitment they show in delivering the library service and what better time to do this than at Christmas. At our Kinver Community Managed Library volunteer meeting at the start of December, I took the opportunity to put on a little spread and have also made a contribution to the social evening planned, where the volunteers are going to get together, have fun and get into the Christmas spirit.
I hope our volunteers feel valued and motivated through praise for a job well done and recognise how appreciated they are for their continued support.
Along with volunteers from Brewood and Kinver, I attended Collection HQ training at Codsall Library, delivered by the members of Staffordshire Libraries Stock, Services and Activities team. Collection HQ is the system we use to manage stock in all our libraries. We learned about moving stock around the County, how to identify unwanted stock and how to run and action reports to help improve performance by targeting specific elements of stock. We also met with volunteers from other Community Managed Libraries.
By attending the training I can support the local Stock Services and Activities Officer and volunteers when they carry out monthly stock duties. It is a great opportunity for volunteers to get more involved in stock procedures, share ideas with others and by visiting another library, there was also a chance to see how they present stock.
Kinver Community Managed Library Volunteers and local craft enthusiasts have been busy creating some wonderful Christmas decorations to be sold as an inventive fund raising opportunity. Members of the Knot, Knit and Natter Group, who meet fortnightly, have been making handcrafted angels and birds over the last few weeks with all proceeds are going directly to the library.
As well as creating a spectacularly decorated Christmas tree in the Library, the volunteers are constantly thinking up new ways to support their library to create sustainability for the future.
On Tuesday November 14th 2017 the Volunteers at Barton Community Managed Library received Dementia Training from Diane Wallace, Dementia Outreach Manager for Staffordshire. The session was very well attended, with around 20 volunteers able to take part. The feedback from the volunteers was excellent, with the training being described as ‘extremely informative’ and ‘very useful’ by some of those in attendance.
As the number of people living with dementia is predicted to rise, it is important for libraries to consider how we can support people affected by dementia to continue to access our service.
On Tuesday November 28th 2017 Tamworth Library held a thank you event for all the volunteers who give their time to help run the libraries at Tamworth, Glascote and Wilnecote. Tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits were on offer and around 30 of our volunteers came along to meet each other, make new friends and have a chat. The event also tied in with the author visit of Staffordshire based author Christie Barlow.
Our volunteers do a wonderful job for us in ensuring that Staffordshire Libraries continue to deliver an excellent service for all its local communities. It is vital that we say thank you to everyone that plays a part, and this is just one small way of doing this.
The volunteers at Wilnecote Library have had lots of ideas for new groups to meet at the library. In addition to the monthly Family History group that has met at the library for many years, the volunteers are currently also working on introducing several new groups including a Craft Group, a Knit N Natter Group and a Code Club.
This shows that the volunteers recognise that the library is a vital community hub which can offer a whole range of groups and activities to local people.
This month I have met with County and Borough Councillor Ann Edgeller to discuss the services offered at Baswich Community Managed Library, to look at other services that could be offered and to look at how we can work together to promote those services.
It is really valuable to keep Councillors informed about services at their local library; they are excellent advocates for the library service and are very well informed about what is happening in the local community. This enables libraries to link in with what is going on locally and to develop partnerships.