We were chuffed to have so many people express an interest in joining us as trustees, to run our charity and reopen the library.
Altogether, an incredible 11 people have volunteered to (potentially) get involved in this way.
We held a couple of ‘open sessions’ at the (very cold and unheated) library. We were really impressed by the enthusiasm of everyone we met.
Last Tuesday, the current four trustees (Ray, Nadina, Sarah and Ian) met to agree the formal process (as suggested by the Charity Commission).
Earlier today, each of the 11 were sent the Commission’s Declaration of Eligibility to complete and return to us (by 1 March).
We’ll then send them a ‘Trustee Pack’ that we’re putting together, with a deadline of 15 March for that to be completed and returned to us.
After that, we will confirm the names of our new trustees and invite them to an ‘induction’ session, which St George’s Primary has kindly agreed to host, so at least we know it will be warm…
N.B. We’ve now removed the ‘trustee’ option on the ‘Get Involved’ page.
If you’ve survived Christmas, New Year, Storm Isha and Storm Jocelyn, congratulations! As a bonus, I’ve found the password to get into this website.
We’ve just emailed 162 people who are supporting, interested or involved in our work to reopen Wallasey Village Library. To sign up to receive future emails, click on the ‘get involved’ tab and we’ll add you to the circulation list.
Last week, we heard from the Assistant Director overseeing the council’s part in the lease negotiations. We’re really grateful to David Ball for all his help with this. He confirmed:
- The Agreement for Lease (‘AFL’) is drafted.
- A schedule of works needs to be added which technical colleagues are progressing with a further meeting on site this week I understand.
- Once the schedule is completed then we will send this along with the AFL.
If that’s gone over your head, well, you and me both but it means that, with the help of Hill Dickinson (who are acting for us, for free), we will soon be able to give access to the building to our appointed contractors…
The trustees will be meeting again in a couple of weeks and we’ll report back after that.
This afternoon, three of us paid a visit to The Cornerstone Library, in Churchtown, Southport. Ten years ago, most of the branch libraries in Sefton were closed, leaving some communities (such as Churchtown) without a library. We can relate!
Now, after a great deal of work and fantastic support from the community (again, we can relate!), a library has been opened, and is run by a local charity, the North Meols Library Association.
It was invaluable to hear from Rosie, Joan and Paul (three of their volunteers) on what they have found works, the plans and safeguards they have made and how they lend their 2,000+ stock of books.
Most of our questions centred on their use of the ‘Simple Little Library System’ that enables library members to browse the books that are available, see the new titles, reserve and renew borrowing. You can see how Cornerstone use their system here.
We’re working our way through the first responses to our newsletter. So far, around 60 people have been in touch to offer support, offer donations or get involved as a volunteer at the library or a trustee for the charity.
We’ll respond to everyone who gets in touch but, in case you’re wondering…
- if you have items to donate (books, CDs etc) please hang on to them for now. We don’t have day to day access to the library and have nowhere to store donations. Please DON’T leave items on the library steps…
- Volunteers will be needed in the library but haven’t yet finalised that part of the plan. Please sign up using the ‘get involved’ tab above and we’ll be in touch when we’ve got a better idea.
- Trustee offers are coming in and so we’ve agreed to hold an informal ‘open evening’ or ‘drop in’ event for those who are interested – this will probably be in January. Again, use the ‘get involved’ tab above.
- Some great ideas (and requests) for using the community space are also being received. We haven’t yet agreed the schedule of hire charges but will keep a list of all enquiries.
Thanks to everyone for your interest and support for this project!
This month’s trustees meeting was kindly hosted by Community Soul.
- We reviewed recent discussions with Wirral Council and works they need to carry out on the building – mainly electrical.
- Our plan to install CCTV, inside and around the exterior of the building
- The remodelling and redecoration works of the interior, to create three dedicated areas for the library, community centre and cafe. Special thanks to Ian McGinn for working with potential contractors and obtaining estimates for works
- Progress on delivery of our newsletter, and how offers of help will be acknowledged
- Our next funding bids, which will include an application to the National Lottery and also, following a successful ‘expression of interest’, an application to the Community Ownership Fund
- As offers from potential additional trustees are now being received, it was agreed we would respond to each one ahead of an ‘open day’ in January to meet anyone who wishes to join us.
Over the next few weeks, almost 10,000 homes in our area will receive the first edition of our newsletter – all being delivered by 70 fab volunteers. Thanks to everyone who is helping us in this way.
We know there’s lots of interest in the library and, while we can’t yet answer the ‘when’, our newsletter does give some information on the who, why and where.
A special thanks also to local resident Nikki Anderson for designing the newsletter and to the Wallasey Village Library Friends for the generous donation that paid for it.
We’ll be posting regular updates on this website and our Facebook page.