Library lovers in Leintwardine set themselves the challenging goal of halting the decline in library use in the village and reversing it. And they have succeeded. The library is now open for 70% more hours each month, and library use is up 13%, all thanks to the efforts of local volunteers. Now that really is something to celebrate!
Jon Chedgzoy, library service head for Herefordshire Council, said: “Herefordshire Council would like to thank Leintwardine Community Library and volunteers for their hard work. The council will continue to work in partnership with LCL, by providing the support of a qualified librarian to select and edit stock and by enabling access to the library management system so that customers can choose from current and good quality books.”
Volunteers have breathed new life into Leinwardine library, bringing enthusiasm and a sense of ownership. They formed a new library support group – FOLCL – which set itself the challenging target of turning round library use, and transforming the way the library worked to meet local needs. New activities have been laid on, including children’s writing competitions, craft-making sessions for children, World Book Night celebrations, and a mini-Shakespeare festival. The effort has paid off.
Parish Councillor Emma Gorbutt, Chair of FOLCL, said: “Libraries are a vital community resource. Leintwardine Community Library shows how partnership working between councils and local people can lead to dramatic and positive results. The village values and uses its library, and we are confident that, in the coming years, we can continue to provide our community with so much more than books.”
FOLCL is preparing a new Strategic Plan for Leintwardine library. The aim is to reach out to those who don’t currently use the library to find out why and what would need to change to encourage them to do so. FOLCL wants stronger partnerships with local schools, the NHS and local groups to ensure the library produces as much public good for the local community as possible.