County Councils have a statutory duty under the Museums & Library Act 1964 to provide a comprehensive public library service, but this is now subject to stringent financial constraints.
Consequently, Staffordshire County Council decided to seek community-led groups to manage several libraries on their behalf, while they retained responsibility for buildings, maintenance, utility costs, public computers, broadband connection and supply of books.
Successful groups were asked to provide volunteers to manage the libraries and develop local initiatives to meet community needs.
A team of Kinver residents rose to the challenge of keeping the library open and formed a charitable company called Kinver Community Library Ltd (KCLL). Supported by a dedicated band of enthusiastic volunteers, KCLL has now been successfully running the library since 3 January 2017.
Creation of a village hub
The KCLL team believes that our library is about more than just lending books. Located at the heart of the village, the facility aims to be a focus for much of village life. The library is a place that allows the old, the young, the vulnerable, working parents and children to meet, socialise and form interest groups – improving community enjoyment and broadening social experience.
This means that activities offered within our library have a broad appeal to a wider group of people than those who just want to borrow a book. Library services do not replicate, but complement, the many and varied activities delivered by the plethora of active village societies. As a result, the type of activities on offer is increasing over time and by popular demand. Please do not hesitate to contact us to ensure that your interests are included in our future plans. It’s important that village residents tell us what they want from a village hub, so we urge you to use the comments page.
Visit the library and meet our friendly team of volunteers. We believe that our library should exude a vibrant atmosphere, with plenty of attractive activities on offer, from weekly meetings of special interest groups to one-off events. Come along and discover new books on display; use our computers for free; consult our local reference resources; join regular meetings of Knit & Natter, Tots Time, genealogy research and cryptic crossword solving; improve your skills with our computer courses and craft workshops; attend special events such as book readings by local authors; view our regular exhibitions from local artists; simply relax with a newspaper or magazine, have a coffee and contemplate the world. You are very welcome.
We also offer the library as a place for village societies to meet (at a small fee). Book via the “Services” drop-down menu.
Some believe that libraries should be places that demand silence, allowing individuals to study and research. That is not our philosophy. We encourage activities that ensure our visitors and customers interact to the fullest extent. Your input is essential. The implementation of activities depends as much on new ideas as it does on the number of volunteers we have to ensure those ideas are delivered. You can help us determine:
Changes in the type of books we stock.
What opening hours we should have, subject to us having volunteers to manage any increased hours on a regular basis.
What new groups we should start at the library. Ideas might include computer training for the terrified; a debating club for young adults; a homework club for local school pupils; murder mystery evenings; CV preparation.
Please help us fashion the future. We look forward to hearing from you as to what you would like your village hub to add to our community’s daily life. Please let us know by sending us a message using the Get in Touch link below.