With the coming of the New Year comes the thousands of resolutions that so many of us make. Thus the last few years have shown us that this is the best time to recruit new volunteers. In the South East of the county the CMLs at Barton, Glascote, Shenstone and Wilnecote have already recruited 8 new volunteers between them in the last month, demonstrating how the thought of volunteering fits in well with the idea of turning over a new leaf!
Glascote Community Managed Library (CML) has had great success in introducing a range of new clubs and groups in recent times. Over the past 4 years the volunteers have been able to launch a Job Club, a Twin’s Group, various craft groups and several others. The latest addition is the library’s new Scrabble Group. This is a really novel idea, as scrabble is such a popular past-time, enjoyed by people of all ages. 10 people attended the first meeting of the Club, which bodes really well for the future! The group runs on the first Friday of each month, 2-4pm.
It is really important that our CMLs are there for all the community, doing as much as possible to draw in a wide range of local people. In this way our CMLs can become true community hubs. Glascote is doing a wonderful job of achieving this.
Shenstone Community Managed Library (CML) continues to have great success with its wonderful coffee shop. Since its installation in the summer of 2017, it has become a firm favourite with many people, both from the village itself and from the surrounding area. A range of drinks and cakes are on offer, and all the feedback received is always excellent. In addition to being a very important village venue it its own right, the coffee shop also brings in much needed revenue to the library.
Our CML model has been a great success, and some of the innovations that our CMLs have introduced have been a big factor in this. The coffee shop at Shenstone CML is a wonderful example of this and will help the library to thrive for years to come.
Volunteering at our CMLs can help you enter the world of employment. Recently Cheslyn Hay CML Volunteer Alex found work and credits his volunteering experience as a big part of the reason why. Alex says “Having been trained in the use of the library computer system, I was able to confidently showcase my ability to learn new modes of operation to potential employers. In addition, the library has given me experience with confidentiality and public records, something which my new job requires. Working in the library has also developed my customer service skills and has allowed me engage with people as an active member of my local community; an aspect which I am very proud of.”
Volunteering has many benefits. In addition to making new friends and supporting your local community, volunteering in our CMLs can be a huge help to anyone looking for employment.
On Wednesdays December 18th, 2019, members of the Lichfield Cathedral Chamber Choir and pupils from Three Peaks Primary School teamed up to stage a Carol Concert at Glascote Community Managed Library (CML). With rousing renditions of everyone’s favourite Christmas songs and festive fayre being served by the Library Volunteers, it was a wonderful occasion, attended by 160 local people. There were many lovely comments received on the day from members of the local community, and to see how Glascote CML has become a true community hub for local people of all ages is heart-warming.
This is a wonderful example of Community Managed Libraries working at their best, as true community venues, where local people can come and socialise, make new friends, learn new skills and engage in a range of events and activities which will help them to lead happy and fulfilling lives.
Our volunteers support the Library Service in many capacities in all our libraries across the county, and new volunteering opportunities are often arising. With Lichfield Library having recently celebrated a year in its new home of St Mary’s Church, it was felt that it would be a good idea to recruit some Volunteer Meeters and Greeters. The building is shared with both St Mary’s Guild and Lichfield Tourist Information Centre and, as such, many visitors require help and direction upon entering. We have already recruited 3 Volunteers to carry out the Meeter and Greeter role to assist visitors, and we hope to add to this number in the months to come.
This is a wonderful example of the changing face of libraries and how we are constantly adapting to meet new challenges. We couldn’t do this so successfully without our great team of volunteers.
This is the first blog update following a very busy summer. The Team have successfully transferred a further 5 libraries to community management, which brings the total number of Community Managed Libraries in Staffordshire to 27. We’re really pleased that of the 27 Libraries moved forward into community management, all are staffed by volunteers and delivering Library services to their respective communities.
A huge ‘Thank You’ to all the partner organisations who are supporting the network of Community Managed Libraries across Staffordshire.
We have also said goodbye to one of the Team of Community Support Officers. Cathy Attwood retired in June 2019. Her workload has been divided up amongst the remaining Team.
Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Community Managed Libraries win National Award
MPFT in partnership with Staffordshire County Council have won a HSJ Award at a ceremony in London on Wednesday 7/11/19. The Community Managed Libraries project had been shortlisted in the Health and Local Government Partnership Award along with nine other nominees.
The HSJ Awards are the biggest and most prestigious awards for the NHS Sector in the Country.
This is fantastic for everyone involved in project to be recognised nationally for all the hard work that they have put in
The Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix officially took over Cheslyn Hay Community Managed Library (CML) on July 29th. With 18 Library Volunteers already on board, and a dedicated and enthusiastic team from the Rotary Club, the future looks set for the library. Many ideas for events and activities are already being discussed and the Rotary are keen to make a big success of the project.
Cheslyn Hay CML is one of the last the of planned transitions from an SCC Library to a CML. This project, already underway for 4 years, has been a big success, with no closures of any libraries and the successful transfer of 27 libraries in to community management. SCC look forward to a long and successful partnership with the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix.