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Community library bids begin

 

Posted on Monday 8th October 2018

Groups and organisations wanting to take on the day-to-day running and management of five Staffordshire libraries can apply this month. 

Bids will be considered for Cheadle, Cheslyn Hay, Clayton, Eccleshall and Penkridge. 

Successful applicants will be supported by the county council to take over the day-to-day running and management of the libraries. They will still have access to the county service’s stock and IT network, while the authority remains responsible for agreed utility and maintenance costs. 

There are already a range of successful community library management organisations in Staffordshire, including local groups, a health trust, a church and the Rotarians. One group, the Werrington Community Volunteer Group, recently received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the equivalent of the MBE for voluntary groups. 

Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Communities, said:

“As well as remaining a place for reading, learning and enjoyment, we’re finding that community managed libraries are developing services they think are needed locally, ranging from baby massage and medical drop-in centres, to  cafes and befriending groups.” 

Of Staffordshire’s 43 libraries, 20 are already managed by community groups, with two more currently going through the process.

 Gill Heath added:

“The way in which libraries are used by the public has changed dramatically in the last decade and we are working hard to keep all our libraries relevant to their communities. 

“It’s clear to us that all the successful community groups have in common an enthusiasm and an energy, which is supported by strong management and an understanding of what’s needed locally.” 

The application process runs until Monday November 26th. Interested groups can talk informally with library service officers to find out more about this opportunity and the support on offer from the county council and the experiences of other management groups. 

More information is available at our community managed libraries page.

 

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