As we enter the new decade, it’s a good time to look back on what we’ve achieved here at the centre – and also to look forward with optimism to the future.
As you know, Blythe Bridge is a ‘community-managed’ library. In other words, the county council would no longer be keeping it open if The Care & Fun Charity (or another voluntary organisation) had not stepped forward to say it would take on the responsibility of keeping it running.
And, thanks to your support, and to the new volunteers who keep joining us, we have been keeping our heads above water!
We are now into the fourth year of our five-year agreement with the county, which almost makes us one of the veterans in Staffordshire’s roster of community-managed libraries. As a ‘veteran’, we were asked to host a CML Network meeting earlier this month (see pic above) – a nice honour.
Back in 2019
Looking back on last year, it is lovely to report what strides forward we made.
The stats say it all.
There were an astonishing 42,400 visits to the library; there were 525 separate activity-events (including club sessions); and we hosted some 32 one-off special events … all made possible by the endeavours of the volunteers, who clocked up 5,630 hours of selfless effort!
Quite a record for a small library.
To infinity … and beyond…
In a time of change and social issues, such as we are passing through now, we believe that a library centre such as Blythe’s is a place that can act as a force-for-good in the local community.
We would like to see the centre be an even bigger force for good in future so we are not sitting on our achievements but pressing forward…
Thus, the book-stock is constantly changing – and please remember, we are here to help you find the books you need in your life, even if we don’t have them in stock immediately.
Our training courses, supported by Acorn Training, already see a high demand, but we intend to see that even more of them get pre-funding, from various sources. This means that nearly everybody can get a place on them without having to worry about money.
Our various club sessions – from chess to quilting to Warhammer – are now well-established, but, with the help of our volunteers, we will be starting at least two altogether-new clubs.
And there’s always the Unknown. Do you and your friends feel like setting up a book club? Or how about staging some local history talks? Even put on a small play or concert? The possibilities are endless – please come and talk to us, and we’ll guide you through the process.
Plus… would you like to volunteer? There are lots of different tasks, from being on the desk to helping compile the newsletter to general publicity. Whatever your skill, we’ve probably a job for you. See here for what’s involved.
It looks like 2020 will be a good year!
Courses new for 2020
As we’ve just said, we’re expanding the number and range of courses we’re hosting at the centre.
Here are a few of them starting in the next few weeks…
Our new Code Club is aimed at young people aged 9-13yrs (registration, parental consent signature required) who have an interest in computer animations and gaming. This club will start on Friday 31st January running from 3.30 to 4.30pm, run by Archie (our Tuesday afternoon volunteer). No cost to join, but please book.
Our new Ancestry Group will be run by Kate, our Thursday morning volunteer. If you have an interest in genealogy, this group will be a fabulous benefit to you as you research your family tree. The Ancestry group will meet every Thursday afternoon from 6th February 1.30-2.30pm. No cost to join, but please book.
The “Ready Steady Go– Job Club” supports job hunters at every stage of their journey, from confidence building, application forms, cover letters and CV creation help, to interview techniques and support. The club starts Monday 13th January 1-3pm. Registration required.
All these plus our two popular IT courses ”Get Connected” and “Enhanced IT”, not to mention our revamped “Baby Massage” class. (See our Events page for dates & times)