Gnosall Community Managed Library Lands – Literally!

Things are progressing apace in Gnosall as the portable unit, which will house the community managed library, has now been delivered!


The delivery men managed to negotiate the narrow high street and then lower the unit, avoiding a flagpole, into the designated confined space! Work is now taking place to connect services to the unit, and then we will be able to build the shelves and stock the shelves with books.

A coffee morning was held in August for the volunteers to find out about the progress and timescales of the project. Their training on the library services and how to use our computer systems has started.

So What?

It is great to see the hard work of the GLEAN (Gnosall Library Environment and Nurture) Committee come to fruition, as they have given many hours of their time, and negotiated many challenges, to make the provision of a community managed library in Gnosall a reality.

Fabulous Friends Forge Ahead

After investigating setting up a Library ‘Friends’ Group for several months, 18 people attended the first official meeting of the Friends of Perton Library held in August. There was much talk about what a Friends Group could do to support the library, including promotion, volunteering to help develop and deliver activities and fundraising. Due to the enthusiasm of these ‘library champions’, the group agreed to adopt a constitution and elected 7 trustees who met in September to progress the Friends Group further.

So What?

By coming together as the Friends of Perton Library, the members are all keen to act as the link between the library and the wider community by raising awareness of services and events. There are some great ideas coming forward so watch this space…..

Book Stock Swaps Make a Difference

Part of Community Support Officer Lisa Dyke’s role is to support the Stock, Services and Activities Officer to maintain and manage the book stock in Community Managed Libraries. This can include identifying books that aren’t borrowed in one library and transferring to another or removing a title from circulation altogether and some of the volunteers play an active part in this too.

So What?

Recently at Kinver Community Library, myself, Stock Officer Scott and Volunteer Stock Manager Val got together to focus on the Large Print books. To ensure our stock gets as much use as possible, especially if it’s not being borrowed in the library. We offered a collection of 60 books to a local residential home with the proviso that we would swap them on a regular basis. Not only are the Community Managed Library making great links within the local area but are providing books to those who may not easily get into the library and are also increasing issues from books that were previously under used.

Young People Making their Mark at Brewood Community Managed Library

After being asked to support the Youth Parliament ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign by offering libraries as somewhere for young people to vote, Volunteers at Brewood Community Managed Library wasted no time at all in creating an eye-catching display and ballot box.

‘Make Your Mark’ gives a unique opportunity for young people aged 11-18 to decide what Members of Youth Parliament debate in November 2018 within the House of Commons and the fabulous display showcases some of the issues that they can vote for.

So What?

Brewood Community Library are raising their profile locally to target specific user groups and by supporting this nationally recognised campaign, are providing an opportunity for 11-18 year olds to use their voice to bring about social change.

Places of Welcome

Glascote Community Managed Library and Tamworth Library have become the first libraries in the county to register as ‘Places of Welcome’. ‘Places of Welcome’ is a growing network of hospitality run by local community groups who want to make sure that everyone in their area has a place to go for a friendly face, cup of tea and a conversation if and when they need it. Developed out of the Birmingham Social Inclusion process ‘Giving Hope Changing Lives’, ‘Places of Welcome’ is in part a response to social trends including the prevalence of loneliness, isolation and mental ill health, the closure of community spaces and buildings due to lack of funding and the pressure on publicly funded services, especially health and social care.

So What?

This shows that our libraries are at the forefront of helping to tackle a raft of issues facing our communities, including social isolation and issues with mental health.


You can find magic wherever you look, sit back and relax all you need is a book”

Dr Seuss

Calling children aged 8-11yrs –Do you love books and reading?   Exciting News

A new group – “Chatterbooks” is starting at Great Wyrley Community Managed Library, the last Saturday of the month starting on Saturday 29th September 11-12noon.

Come and join in the fun and make new friends, sharing books, doing quizzes, arts and craft.

Boring info for parents – Chatterbooks is a Reading Agency Initiative, building on the Summer Reading Challenge, reading clubs help children build a lifelong reading habit. Because everything changes when we read.

To find out more contact the library direct.

So What?

One of the younger members of the volunteer team has asked if she can start this group, showing drive and enthusiasm.

Chatterbooks supports Staffordshire County Council Universal Offers, promotes reading and literacy, builds on the Summer Reading Challenge

The world’s a stage

Are in interested in singing and drama?

Norton Canes Community Managed Library is the venue for Norton Canes Music and Drama society, meeting at the library on Mondays 7.30-10pm.

They are friendly group looking for more people to join in so that they can extend their performance repertoire. New comers are welcome to pop along to rehearsal and find out for themselves.

So What?

This demonstrate how being flexible and using the library outside of normal opening hours can support the wider community, by extending the use of a valuable resource to enable Community Groups to stay within the heart of the local Community. It also raises income for Norton Canes Community Managed Library.

Slices of Cake

The volunteers at Brereton Community Managed Library showed off their baking skills by producing a wonderful selection of home baked cakes to support their Macmillan Coffee morning last month. They opened the library on a day they are normally closed especially to host this event, as well as enjoying tea, coffee, lots of chatter and a slice or two of cake they raised an amazing £330 for the charity.

So What?

The volunteer team is going from strength to strength, with lots of ideas and energy to promote the library within the community; raising awareness of the library service, creating a welcoming social hub which helps to support the community’s health and wellbeing as well as supporting a deserving charity.

Audley Goes Purple

Following the success of Audley Community Managed Library’s support of Audley Parish Fights Cancer last year. The volunteers have extensively supported it again this year.

The library once again hosted Peak Pursuits Climbing Wall on the car park, as well as a stall selling donated books to raise money for this good cause. The volunteers also served teas and coffees in the library for the members of the public visiting the event. However, for some visiting the library it was just a welcome space them to rest their feet after taking part in the other events happening around the village.

So What?

It is very positive to see a Community Managed Library supporting such a worthy cause in the local community.

In the three days that the event ran, more than 1000 members of the public visited the library, many of whom have never visited the library before and generated new library members. This was a phenomenal attendance, which saw almost a month’s library visits in 3 days!

Lights, Camera, Action!

September saw the inaugural ‘Silverdale on Screen’ event at Silverdale Community Managed Library which celebrated the heritage of mining that was so important to Silverdale and the surrounding area.

Business Enterprise Support (BES) who manage the library acquired a large number of photographs when the library transferred to their management. Some of these photos were displayed on the walls, while others were not on public display.

Supported financially by RED Industries and The Realise Foundation, BES purchased a large screen TV and with the support of one of the volunteers digitalised all the photographs and put them into a looped film so they could be displayed for the community in the library as they visit.

Over 25 members of the community came together for the first showing of the film, which sparked much conversation between them about places and people they knew.

This coincided with the Macmillan Coffee Morning for which volunteers and BES bought in cakes for the public and over £140 raised for charity through donations.

One lady who attended mentioned that she has many more pictures due to her family association to the local mine and she was quite happy for BES to digitalise them. Watch this space for the sequel!

So What?

This was an excellent example of an event in a library that bought the community together. Events like this can, not only, combat social isolation, but can also give people the opportunity to reminisce.