History of the Library Community Partners
THE SITUATION IN BARROW in 2014
- Leicestershire County Council announced that they were planning to close many village libraries, including Barrow upon Soar Library.
- The LCC library Public Meeting in Barrow in June 2014 showed overwhelming support by residents to keep the library open.
- As a result, BUSCA and Barrow Parish Council worked together to ensure that a Community Partnership could be formed with the LCC to keep our library open and operating at the same level as previously.
- BUSCA and the Parish Council met with the Library Service many times.
- BUSCA held a Public Meeting in October 2014 for anyone interested in finding out more and possibly wanting to volunteer.
62 people attended and from that meeting we initially received 38 offers to staff library sessions covering over 140 hours of time (but often not overlapping!). Since then, we have received many more offers to man sessions.
We formed a Library Management Committee of 11 members including five trustees of BUSCA.
We also received a variety of other offers to help including cleaning.
- Barrow was selected to give evidence to a LCC special Library review panel (i.e. they want to know what Barrow thinks!) and also to a Whitehall representative.
- The Parish Council precepted an amount that will enable BUSCA to cover the costs of running the library.
THE TIMETABLE OF EVENTS
- BUSCA submitted our Registration of Interest.
- The new Library Management Committee has had its first meeting in November 2014 and since then, meets approximately monthly, usually on a Thursday afternoon in the library.
- We researched all the details for the Community Partnership and drew up a business plan which we submitted by March 14th 2015.
- We finalised the Community Partnership requirements by end of March 2015
- During June/July 2015 about 40 volunteers participated in a full programme of TRAINING by the LCC Library Service aimed to ensure that every volunteer felt confident to carry out the required range of tasks with enjoyment!
- We took over the running of Barrow library on Monday 27th July 2015
- We continue to welcome new volunteers who will always be needed.
- At the end of July BUSCA appointed a Coordinator of Volunteers. She began the job at the end of August and her primary roles are to manage the rota of volunteers, ensure that they maintain a satisfactory level of service, arrange the opening and closing of library sessions and deal with financial transactions.
The Library Management Committee had to fulfil these roles for a month until the Coordinator was in post. This proved to us how vital it is that we maintain this paid post.
THE MODEL FOR THE COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP
- BUSCA Library Committee will continue to work with Barrow Parish Council to manage each stage.
- BUSCA has formed the Community Partnership with Leicestershire County Council
- The Library Management Committee exists to manage all aspects of the running of Barrow library and is a sub-group of BUSCA. For its details see under Library Management Committee within Sub Groups
It is responsible for adhering to the Service Level Agreement contained in the Community Partnership as well as any additional functions that it deems desirable (eg fund-raising)
It will also report to Trustees and to the Parish Council on a regular basis.
- The Parish Council will continue to fund the cost of the part time Coordinator of Volunteers and Barrow’s share of the running costs as detailed in the support package of the Community Partnership. This will be done via a grant to BUSCA.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO OFFER YOUR HELP, PLEASE DOWNLOAD AND COMPLETE the library volunteer application form