Well, it’s been a whirlwind January and I’m not just talking about the weather.  With some trepidation but oodles of enthusiasm and pots of good ideas, a happy band of local residents embarked on running our historic library on a voluntary basis straight after the Christmas holidays.  The reception and response has been well worth writing home about.

There may have been the odd niggle when we realised that it’s no mean feat trying to provide the same service as trained professional librarians, but thankfully our adoring public have shown nothing but encouragement, grateful that the library can remain a viable concern.  Indeed, many more people have stepped up to volunteer, which is terrific news – the more, the merrier!  We’ve continued to have hands-on back-up from our Community Support Officer, Lisa Dyke, throughout the first month, and we’ll always have other County libraries available for advice by phone.  We’re learning from each other too, and one of the greatest pleasures of being involved is establishing friendships with fellow volunteers whom we might otherwise never even have met.

The management team has been working hard and creatively to bring on board lots of initiatives that will hopefully continue to capture the village’s attention and keep residents crossing the threshold.  Some are established activities from the ‘old days’, such as the Reading Groups, Baby Bounce & Rhyme and the Genealogy Group.  Some are brand new, such as Knot, Knit & Natter and the upcoming half-term events including a Craft Workshop and a visit from the Owls Trust.  We’re particularly keen to ensure youngsters of all ages feel welcome, and you may have seen our exciting plans for Think Tank’s visits to Kinver in the summer.  The notice boards have been spruced up and this month play host to the first of a planned series of exhibitions – do go along and admire Steve Parkes’s photographs, and keep an eye out for what’s next.

As the months progress, there’ll also be author talks and a whole host of other activity.  Of course, you can simply continue to pop in and borrow books or use the PCs, but there’s also the chance buy from our exchange corner, or sit awhile over a cuppa while you browse the daily newspapers.

We’ve been bowled over by the positive reaction to Kinver Community Library’s efforts so far, and look forward to hearing lots more of your feedback.  Here’s to the second month!