Future Plans for our Community Library

Stop Press November 2019

As previously noted, we have been examining the possibility of obtaining funds through the HS2 Community Environment Fund to enhance and expand the range of services provided through the Community Library.  Applications to this fund have to be from the owners of the building concerned and this, of course, means Bucks County Council.  Therefore, for the application to be successful, the active involvement of BCC through the County Library Service is required, and it is pleasing to report that we are now working closely with the Library Service to try to acquire the funds needed to enhance our Community Library.  Plans to enhance the Community Library dovetail with the longer term aims of the County Council to become a Unitary Authority.  This does not mean that funds are assured, but the positive involvement of BCC does give cause for cautious optimism.  Watch this space for further developments.

We also have to report, (October 2019), that cuts have just been made to the level of paid staffing in the Community Library.  We now have a Library Manager, whose weekly hours of work have not been reduced, an Assistant Librarian, whose weekly hours of work have been halved, and the Saturday Assistant position has been abolished.  Because of the quality of our Volunteer Staff our Community Library can cope with this, but it is disappointing, (to say the least), that it is thought these cuts have to be made.  In some areas the consequences will be more serious.

                                            --------------------------------------------

Seven or eight years ago there was genuine and justified fear that Wendover could lose its Library because of the reductions in spending that were being forced on Bucks County Council, (cuts that were being imposed upon all local authorities), but Wendover Community Library continues to thrive because of the partnership that has been created between the local community and the Bucks County Library Service.  The County Service is still subject to austerity measures imposed by central government, (as shown above by the recent reductions in staffing), but, through the provision of volunteer support, our Community Library is still with us!

We have a team of around forty-six volunteers who sign up to complete shifts as Counter Assistants.  ‘Bounce and Rhyme’, run for specific age groups, and ‘Learn My Way’, which offers support and training in the use of Information Technology, are now both run through the involvement of volunteers.  Without this involvement these activities would not function.  Once a month ‘Wendover OnScreen’, shows a film which the organising committee selects, and so far this committee has been very successful in choosing films that go down well in Wendover.  The quality of the equipment, and the ambience of the room are all down to the fund raising activities of the ‘Friends of Wendover Library’ (FOWL).  The room concerned is used regularly by other local community groups, and, again, it is through the fund raising activities of FOWL that a second meeting room is now available for hire by local, (perhaps smaller), groups.

FOWL members are now also responsible for Wendover having a Tourist and Community facility, (the local Parish Council was no longer able to sustain these two services), and, the gardens at the rear of the library and in the approach to the library are maintained through volunteers.

Given the fact that the national Government still requires the local authority to make savings, (some of us prefer to use the word ‘cuts’), we all need to be grateful to those members of our community who give their time to support our Community Library, and its various activities.  Recent years have taught us, amongst other things, that we can take nothing for granted.

If you want be involved in your local Community Library, or if you want to know more of the plans and prospects for your library’s future, please do not hesitate to be in touch.

Phil Mitchell – Chair WCLT

Registered Charity 1157773