Posted: Thursday 26th April 2018
About fifty people, Library staff, volunteers, councillors and members of the public, enjoyed celebratory refreshments at Wheathampstead Community Library on Tuesday 17 April for the official Launch of the Community Library. Chrissie Chadney, the Chair of the Volunteers Committee, received a symbolic key from Andrew Bignell, Head of Libraries and Heritage and both thanked most sincerely the Herts Libraries staff for their support and training since April last year when this project began.
Hertfordshire Libraries continue to manage the running costs of the building and supply the stock and IT, but County and Parish Councils were also thanked for grants recently received which help to support the work of the volunteers steering group. This money is augmented by Community Library fundraising and will be used for the monthly Coffee Mornings and several development activities, such as library events.
Wheathampstead was fortunate in quickly forming a five person management group with diverse skills. On a monthly basis there is a Partnership Meeting with managers from Herts Libraries staff, as the library is now managed in partnership with the county council library service.
The Library has attracted 45 volunteers, all now fully or partly trained in the wonders of Library procedures and computer systems. We are also grateful for the support we receive from the Community Services team, the buddy trainers at St Albans Library and the enquiries team staff at Welwyn Garden City Library. At present the Library opens twenty hours a week and volunteers hours are mixed , some doing a half session of 2 hours and some a full session of four and a half hours; some working weekly and some fortnightly.
Three of the volunteers are young people doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award and these present a good contrast to the many volunteers who have come through University of the Third Age. The wide life and professional experiences of volunteers has meant that they are keen to provide a more extended service to the community. In the next few months they will be starting a ‘Knit, Natter and Know’ group and both morning and early afternoon ‘Toddler Rhyme Times’. There are also plans for a ‘Classics Connection’ promotion and possible reading group.
Councillor Annie Brewster proposed a toast to the Community Library. It was also announced that planning has been confirmed for a co-location project which will see the Library moving about two hundred yards from the present building to share premises with the Fire Station, as a combined community resource. Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far!
London Colney Community Library
We now have regular and experienced volunteers who support the library each week, but we are always looking for more! We also need steering group members who will work in partnership with the library service to run the library and to help train new volunteers. If you would like to join our frontline team serving customers, or the committee helping with the coordination of rotas, planning of events and other promotions, or helping with communications to volunteers and fundraising in the community – as well as of the usual committee roles such as Chairperson, Secretary or Treasurer, then please do get in touch. For further information, please email email@example.com Or, visit us at a drop-in session in the library to find out more on Monday 14 May from 2.00pm to 4.00pm or Thursday 8 June from 3.00pm to 5.00pm.
Welwyn Community Library
Our next community library project will be at the Old Welwyn Library in the Civic Centre, Prospect Place, Welwyn. We will be arranging training sessions here over the summer, but if you would like to register your interest in advance or ask for further information about this community library project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
As the summer approaches and the children’s reading challenge starts in July, it’s a really busy and exciting time to join us!