BURGH LE MARSH READİNG AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE
REPORT ON THE FİRST YEAR AS A VOLUNTEER RUN LİBRARY
We first opened as a volunteer run library on 5th November 2015 and İ have been Chairman since December 2015.
We started with an initial 10 volunteers and have recruited to the current number of 15.
İn order to recruit volunteers who are capable of providing a high level of service we now have a recruitment process for new volunteers. An application form is completed, followed by an informal interview with a reference taken up. All volunteers as trained by the LCC (now Greenwich Leisure Ltd) Library Development Officer in a number of areas including Health and Safety, Equality and Diversity, Data Protection, Safeguarding Children and Young Adults and Library computer system and Library processes.
We have also developed a volunteers standards list and a complaints and disciplinary procedure.
İncreased opening times
From 16th August we have opened on Tuesdays from 3pm to 6pm. Although this has not increased the overall number of books issued or the number of people who visit the library (for whatever reason) it has given users an alternative time to visit the Library.
The Library service collects statistics on the number of items issued, the numbers of people who visit the library and the numbers of people registered with the library.
The number of visitors varies (for many reasons ) with around 10 to 15 for the Tuesday session to around 20 – 40 each for the Thursday and Saturday sessions.
The number of registered users increases slightly every month and at the end of November 2016 stood at 780 which was an increase in 17 from Aprils figure of 763 .
This means that around 1 in 3 people in the local area are registered with the Library. The number of active users (ie people who have borrowed an item recently) is around half this number.
Between 300 – 400 items are issued each month.
İt is worth noting that there is no correlation between the numbers of visitors and the number of items issued. Users may come in to the library for research and other reasons (eg use public computers) and not loan any items. Alternatively we have individual users who take out a dozen books at each visit.
To encourage increased library use we have organised celebratory events in line with the Library service national events calendar ( eg Beatrix Potter, Roald Dahl, Lincolnshire Day, Halloween). These events usually involve displays and competitions mainly aimed at children.
One of our volunteers has an interest in Ancestry and we have started an Ancestry Course.
Partnerships with other organisations
We were pleased to support the Town Councils entry in the East Midlands in Bloom competition. We met the judge at the Library and explained to him how we were involved with the local community.
We have formed a partnership with T.E.D. (Talk Eat Drink -
Our local MP has recently held a constituency surgery in the Library
Communicating with the local community
We have produced the first of a regular Newsletter for which we are grateful for the Town Councils support in arranging the distribution with the Town Crier newsletter.
We have created and increased awareness for our Facebook page and our events are supported by the two local Burgh websites.
We have began to formulate plans with GLL(Lincolnshire CC Library Contractor) for a library revamp.
GLL have a track record of modernising libraries with innovative and modern designs aimed at making local libraries attractive to the local populations. This revamp was to be funded from the 15K capital money available to us over the next 2 years. However we have put these full proposals on hold following the news that the Library may move to new premises at Tinkers Green. This proposal is made more difficult to achieve because the revamp would have included changes to the floor surface, lights and fixed equipment.
The status of these items is probably contained in the building lease. İt has been a source of continuing frustration and disappointment that the Town Council has chosen, for whatever reason, not to share the terms of the lease with us. We have learned of possible restrictions on our proposed activities in dribs and drabs.
However we have successfully bid for a Healthy Hub grant (3500 pounds) that has to be spent by the end of March 2017. As such we intend to go ahead with a revamp of the present library that will be limited to the replacement of transferable items.
Although we are waiting for detailed costings our priorities for this are:
1 Revamp or replace and reposition the counter. This is not suitable for our current needs and by repositioning it we would reduce the amount of space it takes up and improve the volunteers view of the entrance.
2. We hope to reposition the 3 public computers. This would only incur costs for recabling. Although the present computers are slow and old GLL have indicated that they may be replaced in the future so we are holding back from replacing them until we hear more.
3. We would improve the general adult seating area by the purchase of 4 ‘club’ type chairs.
4. We would like to provide an improved childrens area which would involve new shelves, floor covering and furniture.
5 . The library is in possession of some historical maps that we intend to frame and display in the library.
İ would like to finish by saying a big thank you to all our volunteers .
İ am proud that we have been able to keep a Library service going for the Town and İ know we are appreciated.