Glascote CML Volunteers and a Grand Day Out

On Saturday June 16th Library Community Support Officer (CSO) Ian Burley joined the Volunteers from Glascote Community Managed Library (CML) at Amington Fete to promote the library. The volunteers had a stall at the fete which ran from 10am until 4pm and was an annual event held at Landau Forte Academy. Although the weather could have been better, that didn’t deter hundreds of people from turning up on the day. There were around 30 stalls on site and the volunteers managed to chat to over 40 people, promoting the library service and joining up new members.

So What?

This was a great way of promoting Glascote CML, the library service in general and also of embedding the library as a core part of the local community.

Spreading the word for Wilnecote Community Managed Library

Wilnecote Community Managed Library continues to develop in its’ early days as a Community Managed Library under The Wilnecote School. At a recent meeting attended by volunteers from the library and staff from both the school and Staffordshire Libraries and Arts Service, everyone got to know each other a bit more, ideas were discussed and various options for the future put forward. Afterwards there was a leaflet drop in the local area, with the staff and volunteers delivering flyers about the library and the various volunteering opportunities on offer.

So What?

This was a great opportunity to start an effective working relationship and also promote the library to the wider community, ensuring that everyone in the local area is aware of the library and its’ new status as a Community Managed Library.

Superb Funding Success for Barton Community Managed Library

The volunteers at Barton Community Managed Library are very proactive in working with the local community in different ways to help improve the library.

The volunteers recently applied to local charity Barton under Needwood and Dunstall Key Trust for funding to replace children’s library furniture and bookcases. The volunteers have just heard that they were successful with this bid and have been awarded £6,000.

So What?

The award of this grant will help to improve the interior of the library, making it more attractive and welcoming to local people, thus benefitting the whole of the wider community. It also helps to strengthen local networks and partnerships.

Turning the page for the New Newcastle Library

Newcastle Library has moved to a new location within Castle House.

Castle House is a new multi-agency building that will allow working space for a number of services including Staffordshire County Council, Newcastle Borough Council, Staffordshire Police and Aspire. The building also incorporates the library on the ground and first floors.

The new library looks excellent!

It was great to introduce the new building to the existing volunteers at Newcastle Library when they came along to enjoy refreshments and give myself and colleagues the opportunity to answer any questions they may have.

So What?

It is a really positive step to move into a new library that will offer a whole new experience and opportunities for library users and local community. Watch this space for more updates!

Staffordshire Connects!

I recently bumped into a colleague, Public Health Commissioning Officer Lucy Gratton, at two events I attended where was promoting the Community Managed Libraries in the Newcastle area. Lucy was promoting the Staffordshire Connects Website.

Staffordshire Connects is a free and easy to use directory where you can find details about hundreds of different support services, organisations, local activities, events, clubs and community groups taking place across the county – all in one place.

It includes everything from self help and support groups to clubs about hobbies and activities; with just about everything else in between. Staffordshire Connects is used by over 1000 people per week, to find the support they need and range of activities to participate in.

It was also great to hear that Lucy had also been into Clayton Library during Health Information Week to promote the Staffordshire Connects Website. Lucy was alongside colleagues from Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust who were busy raising the awareness of type 2 diabetes. They can offer a programme of education and self-management sessions for those living in Newcastle or the Staffordshire Moorlands.

So What?

A website like this can be very important tool to assist libraries. As libraries are always asked about local information, it can assist volunteers within libraries, to signpost residents and help them get involved in activities in their community.

It is also very important taking health information directly into libraries where it is accessible to the public in a safe and neutral environment is great to see, as this may bring the information to a wider section of the local community.

For further information about Staffordshire Connects, please get in touch via

For further information about type 2 diabetes support, please call 0300 123 0995 ext 4532

When I’m Cleaning Windows!

Do you fancy yourself as the next George Formby?

Loggerheads Community Managed Library is looking to set up a local Ukulele Group to meet and play at the library.

The group will be open to all ages and abilities. Even those who have never played before and my want to just come along and give it a go.

So What?

This is an excellent example of a Community Managed Library looking start a new fun initiative in the community.

Groups like this are excellent as they allow individuals to come together and learn a new skill. They are also an excellent opportunity to meet new people with similar interests and further integrate the CML into the local community.

Blythe’s Review of their Folk Night

Review taken from the Blythe Newsletter: “The Mile Roses”, Blythe Centre. Wednesday, 16th June, 2018


1 – Take Kate Bramley, whose voice and haunting violin playing make her a natural for performing folk music.

2 – Add Edwina Hayes, whose angelic voice, reminiscent of that of Nanci Griffith, gives a country flavour to the sound.

3 – Mix with Simon Haworth, a gifted writer, especially of songs about the sea and/or whisky.

The result: “The Mile Roses”. Put them in front of an audience and let them perform a selection of self-written songs from their eponymous first album and you have everything you need for an enjoyable evening.

So What?

The Blythe Centre invites the volunteers to suggest ideas for their forthcoming monthly cultural events. With everyone involved it means that the potential audience is already warmed up. Community Support Officer, Michelle Jackson, attended too and it was great to see the Library turned into a music venue and everyone joined in where invited to sing along. It was a great night that encouraged new members of the community into the library.