The Directors of Kinver Community Library Limited (KCLL) wish to thank all volunteers for joining and encourage new volunteers to join our team to help transform Kinver Library into a Community led ‘Village Hub’. We have exciting plans in store, and we want to give you a flavour of our future plans as well as the hurdles we still have to cross.

Our apologies if matters seem to be taking a little longer than you were probably expecting for Staffordshire County Council (SCC) to hand over Kinver Library to a Community led Group. Please bear with us while SCC manages the transition timetable. We appreciate your patience.

Our newly formed company (structured as a charity) delivered a bid to manage the Library on the 18th July 2016, and has now been officially told that we are the successful bidder. We now have to complete some legal hurdles. That is; to negotiating a formal agreement and a lease for the tenure of 5 years plus 2 renewable terms of 5 years each. We have seen these draft documents and they appear to raise no insurmountable problems. That process may take place in October or November.

Once we have jumped through these hoops successfully, we hope to be able to start to deliver our plans to create a ‘Village Hub’ from late 2016 or the early part of 2017 with a group of trained and dedicated volunteers. We are seeking some 60 volunteers to cover all aspects of our plans.

The current training programme for existing and new volunteers will continue during this timescale led by SCC Library Staff. A further training timetable will emerge in the next weeks.

Who are Kinver Community Library Limited?

The management team of KCLL consists of: a Chairman, a Finance Director, an IT Director, a ‘Book-Stock’ Manager who will regularly liaise with the Council Library Service, a Volunteer Co-ordinator and a Community Relations Administrator.

The Chairman, Ekkehard Schirrmacher, having initially trained as an accountant, has extensive experience at Director level in Publicly quoted and Private Companies in Executive as well as Non-Executive roles since retraining into general management and marketing and gaining his MBA. He has lived in Kinver for over 44 years. He conceived and organised the first ‘Kinver Music Festival’ in 2004 and organised a joint Kinver Rotary and St Peter’s Parish Church Golf tournament. Both events raised some £7,000 for Kinver Rotary and St Peter’s Church Bells Appeal. He is a volunteer at the National Trust Kinver Rock Houses as well as at Mary Steven’s Hospice in Stourbridge and had to retire from volunteering as a lock-keeper with the Canal & River Trust due to a hand injury.

The Finance Director, Paul Wooddisse, is a Chartered Accountant who serves clients in the wider local area via his own practice, having lived in Kinver and Stourton for the past 48 years. He was a senior partner in a major accountancy practice with much experience across a wide range of businesses. He is an elected Councillor on Kinver Parish Council and Finance Director of Kinver Country Fayres Ltd, who organise the highly successful annual Kinver Country Fayre, which raises very large sums for local charities. The success of this long running community led event can be demonstrated by attracting over 12,000 visitors to the 2015 Fayre.

The IT Director, Andy Calloway, is a specialist in the design and development of web-sites through his own company, Calloway Green Ltd, and thus understands the modern workings of both software and hardware. He has been a Kinver resident for over 15 years. He is a director of Kinver Country Fayres Ltd, a school governor in Kinver and a member of many village organisations. He is one of the administrators of the popular Facebook page – Kinver Past and Present, with over 2,500 members. Through this medium he has been able to recruit volunteers for the library and communicates local information regularly to residents.

The Book-Stock manager, Val Davis, is a graduate in Botany and Chemistry. The first 7 years of her working life were as an Information Officer for a food company, where she created and managed their library with an information retrieval service. She then spent 20 years as the librarian for a West Midland chemical company where she was also responsible for purchasing specialist books required by fellow employees, from national suppliers. She has live in Kinver for 31 years and is a member of a number of local organisations. Val was a Kinver Parish Councillor and is a trustee of Stourton Village Hall.

The Volunteer Co-ordinator, Ruth Pearsall, is a graduate in Modern History. She has lived in Kinver for 27 years and has extensive experience in the voluntary sector including 27 years with Kinver Green belt; 22 years with Kinver schools, Playgroup and Playground committees and 12 years with Kinver Guides. She has attended the Libraries Book Group for many years as well as art, film, historical, theatre, twinning and walking groups in Kinver.

The Community Relations Administrator, Katherine Dixson, spent many years in university administration but now runs her own freelance writing and proofreading business, Way Beyond Words.  Katherine’s love of language and literature led to a degree in Hispanic Studies, and as an avid reader she’s been a regular user of the library since moving to Kinver 19 years ago.  While her children were young she fulfilled organisational and publicity roles in the local PTAs and more recent voluntary activity centred on managing a large regional choral society.  Katherine’s freelance work includes experience of Social Media, so essential in today’s digital world, but physical books remain her passion.

Where will funding for the Venture come from?

Intensive discussions have taken place over the last 4 months to ensure that sufficient working capital is available to be able to manage the first 2 years of operation, build a platform for the future and become self funding thereafter. Among our financial supporters will hopefully be:

• Kinver Country Fayres Ltd.
• Kinver Parish Council.
• Kinver Rotary Club.
• The Wrigley Trust.
• The Wylde Trust.
• A generous Kinver resident.
• A local Staffordshire County Councillor via his Community Fund.

We will also seek to raise further funds in our ‘café’ via the sale of hot drinks (and maybe later cakes!) plus the usual library income and creating an exchange for used books, used toys, used puzzles, used CDs and DVDs. Additionally we hope to encourage Village Societies to use the library for committee meetings and small functions.

SCC will continue to own and maintain the building; pay for utilities, telephone plus broadband connections and insurances costs on the buildings and assets; maintain the current library computer service; supply the usual high quality of books and will be donating movable shelves in the summer of 2017 to replace the existing shelves to enable us to maximise the use of space for smaller village events and the use of meeting facilities for village societies to hold their committee meetings.

Our Vision for the ‘Village Hub’.

Kinver’s Library is at the centre of our village. In this ever-changing world we believe it should become a ‘Village Hub’. Not just a Library, but a wider focus for all residents, be they young, middle aged, old, vulnerable, lonely or simply in search of a ‘good read’. Key in the development of our vision will be to make Kinver Library:

  • A place to ‘put the world to rights’ with other village residents in our café over a hot drink and a daily newspaper. We hope to make available 5 daily newspapers from broadsheet to tabloid. In due course, we may add cake to the menu!
  • A place, using the existing village elderly mini bus service, to bring vulnerable and lonely Kinver residents to enjoy the company of others.
  • A place from which to deliver and collect books to and from house bound Kinver residents as well as those living in local residential homes, using the village mini bus service.
  • A place where young adults can develop their skills in computer technology through programming courses or, for example, the development of the BBC £5 tablet or similar schemes, in agreement with local school teaching plans.
  • A place where young adults can benefit from involvement in homework or debating clubs.
  • A place from which to enhance a Kinver bid for a young person to enter the annual BBC ‘Reading Challenge’.
  • A place to continue “The Big Read” programme for youngsters.
  • A place for the development of a wider range of ‘interest groups’ such as:
  • Craft & design
  • Knit & natter.
  • Job seekers CV group for mature and older residents.
  • Develop the existing genealogy group.
  • Develop the existing computer instruction group.
  • Widen the existing book club and invite authors to talk about their work.
  • A place to widen the appeal of our Library services to Tiny Tots within the local nurseries with regular reading and book related activity groups in the children’s section, with the “Baby Bounce” sessions continuing and expanded.
  • A place from which Kinver’s primary school children can celebrate the annual ‘World Book Day’ by dressing up in their favourite fictional character in conjunction with local schools.
  • A place to allow village society committees to meet or the societies themselves to hold smaller local events. The former service should be available from the start of 2017. The latter will be in place once we swap the existing fixed bookshelves with movable units in the summer or autumn of 2017.
  • A place to allow people to bring in, exchange and find a new home for second hand books, CD’s, DVD’s, puzzles and toys at a modest fee.
  • A place for local artists and photographers to display their work and talent.
  • A place to develop E-reading services in partnership with Staffordshire County Council plans.
  • A place to continue to supply existing services the Library already provides such as the renewal of Bus Passes for senior local residents.
  • Or simply a place to borrow a book, a CD or a DVD.

We hope that ‘Our Vision’ excites you as it does the management team. There are many other ideas in the pipeline yet to be fully formalised. To realise our plans and widen our services we need the co-operation and enthusiasm of all our volunteers and we look forward to more joining our team.

We will be marketing our ‘Village Hub’ via our soon to be revealed website and other local print and electronic media. Once we are able to do so, we will let you have details of all our marketing initiatives.

We look forward to meeting you all in the near future at the training sessions led by the SCC Library Service. If not then, certainly when we start to manage Kinver Library for the benefit of all residents in Kinver, Blakeshall, Enville and Stourton.

Yours sincerely

Ekkehard Schirrmacher
Kinver Community Library Limited

Telephone : 01384 872185

Email : egoandmary@btopenworld.com