There was a free coffee and cake morning at Belmont library this week to celebrate 25 years since it opened. In the first year of opening Belmont Library issued around 10,000 items, that annual figure is now over 22,000. It is a much used, well-loved library set in the friendly and active Belmont Community Centre.
Lots of people came to celebrate the 25th anniversary -the wonderful Lindsey baked the loveliest birthday cake which was quickly gobbled up by all the customers and staff, and there were free book giveaways for young children.
With libraries under threat on all sides, it is wonderful to see this one going from strength to strength and providing such a key service to the local community.
The Friends of Leintwardine Community Library (FOLCL) Annual General Meeting (AGM) is on Weds 5th July at 6pm in the Reading Room.
Our Special Guest Speaker will be Clare Llewellyn West, Chair of Joint Action for Herefordshire Libraries (JAHL).
Here you can download the Agenda, Minutes 2016 and this year’s Annual Report. If you are going to attend the AGM, and are able to print out these documents, and bring them with you, that would be really helpful. The Financial Report will be presented on the day.
At a time when so much is being cut back and so many people are struggling, it is tempting to say that services like public libraries are just a “nice to have” luxury. But the many members and volunteers who support libraries around the county don’t agree. Joint Action for Herefordshire Libraries (JAHL) represents those groups and individuals, and Clare West, the chair of JAHL says:
“We believe that libraries have a real contribution to make to health, wellbeing, education and the local economy and all the research bears that out. They have a value for all ages and all situations – which is why we talk about “Libraries for Life.” Each time we are told that our libraries will not be closed this year, people assume they are safe. However hours are cut, stock budgets get smaller and there has been a steady reduction in numbers of professional library staff. This precious resource is gradually being chipped away. We have a wonderful, hard-working and very small professional library team in the county who work constantly to maintain standards and support the service but they are trying to do more and more with less and less. We believe they deserve our backing!”
A recent project, supported by the Hereford Council Libraries and Museums Fund, aims to get the message out and find sources of help, whether that help comes in the form of volunteers, campaigners or sponsors. Clare says, “Our aim is to raise awareness of the value of libraries and gain support for the service, so we have developed a range of materials, including pamphlets, a website, and an exhibition display, so that we are equipped to reach out to the community.” Clare is seen collecting the exhibition banners from local company, Impact Print. These banners will be made available to groups throughout the county who are willing and able to display them. So if you are holding an event, need a speaker for your community group or business club or you have some public exhibition space available please do get in touch.
Joint Action for Herefordshire Libraries (JAHL) is an independent action group representing all the Herefordshire libraries. Welcome to our new website – Libraries for Life – which will keep you up to date with library news in the county and provide a growing bank of information and resources.
Our aim is to represent the needs of all library users across Herefordshire., and to ensure that the voices of library users are heard.
We want the people of Herefordshire, and visitors to the county, to have genuine access to the very best library service. JAHL will ensure that the voices of library users are heard loud and clear.
The best public libraries provide universal access to literacy, information, knowledge, community and culture. That means they can support the economic development of the county and the health, well-being and education of its residents.
From infancy to old age, libraries provide vital services – and that is why we believe in Libraries for Life.