Friends of Lakenheath Library, 30/01/12

Location, Date & Time: Lakenheath Library, 30th January 2012 at 7pm

Attendees:District and County Cllr Colin Noble, Chris Howard (Lakenheath Library Manager), Harold Spencer, Parish Cllr Iain Frost, Bill Rockett, Madeleine Rockett, Marilyn Shone and Sheila Smith.

Apologies: Carl St Clarke

1. Matters Arising from Previous Minutes

The minutes of the last meeting were unavailable as Alison Donald was not in attendance.

2. Lessons Learnt

Cllr Iain Frost reported that his recent meeting with representatives from the Glemsford Library identified:

“that the provision of some of the library upkeep including cleaner were met by the Parish Council. It was key that a list of delegated tasks and responsibilities was kept by the committee. The Glemsford representatives were impressed with Lakenheath Library’s

It is hoped that Lakenheath Library can learn from the actions taken by Glemsford and other libraries in a similar situation.

3. Current Position

The responsibility for the provision of the library service and the employees therein is scheduled to transfer to the Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) in May/Jun 12 (although this may slip to the right).

Cllr Colin Noble reported that whilst this will reduce the overheads there will still be a need for 30% reduction in expenditure and the IPS may well look to reducing library services in some areas. To ensure that we keep Lakenheath Library we must show that we are a viable entity, much used by the village and surrounding residents.

Chris Howard reported that there are new people becoming library card holders every day. Cllr Colin Noble suggested that to identify this and in order to determine whether the actions taken by the Friends and Lakenheath residents had increased the number of library card holders a current number of holders should be taken.

Chris Howard will identify the number of library card users on the date of the transfer to IPS and this would be used as a baseline figure.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

It was decided by attendees that the committee roles should remain vacant until further committee members can be recruited.

5. Objectives

In order to be clear on what we plan to achieve with Lakenheath Library, acquire funding and in the future become a charity, it was agreed that we require a mission statement and clear objectives.

Key points:

a) Increase library card holders and library users

b) Increase community engagement by becoming a source of information and tickets for local events

c) Increase library usage by local groups e.g. nurseries/playgroups, school etc.

All attendees to draft a mission statement and objectives for discussion and agreement at the next meeting.

All attendees agreed that Lakenheath Library was the cultural and communication hub of the village and that it was important that this is recognised by all village residents, library users and the IPS.

Bill Rockett suggested that the library could be used to provide extra curricular activities such as computer lessons and teaching languages.

6. Events

Harold Spencer proposed that Lakenheath (with Mildenhall, Brandon and Newmarket) hold the first West Suffolk Book Fair inviting local authors to conduct readings and publishers. It was agreed the best location would be the Sports Pavilion as it provides amble space and parking along with safety for children.

The proposed date is 21st July.

It was suggested that local authors should be contacted first to determine their availability.

Once it is determined if the book fair will go ahead, advertisements will be placed in the local newpapers.

7. Publicity

 It was decided that publicity was required in order to gain more committee members, advertise events and inform the public about current progress.

Cllr Iain Frost and Chris Howard will develop a Friends of Lakenheath Library blog to publicise the work of the library group including information on committee members, events and minutes of meetings. Articles about the group can also go into the Lakenheath Times which is circulated throughout the village.

8. Funding

As reported earlier, in order to achieve a substantial amount of funding Lakenheath Library would have to register as a charity; this includes receiving funding from the locality budget managed by Cllr Colin Noble. Additionally a number of funding bodies operate on a match funding basis i.e. charity raises £X and the funding body will match it. (Locality budget provides funding on this basis).

Operating a sponsorship system was also suggested with local business being offered advertising as a library sponsor in exchange for donations. It was noted that some libraries have instigated a scheme where library card holders make a regular contributions. However, details as to what benefactors receive in return were unclear.

The imminent arrival of Tesco in Lakenheath brings with it Section 106 money some of which will be distributed by the Parish Council. It was agreed that once a mission statement and objectives have been ratified, the Parish Council would be approached for a donation.

9. Any Other Business

Bill Rockett asked if there were any data protection issues if a volunteer were to act as a librarian and thereby have acces to the library database, Cllr Colin Noble responded that the information held was information held was information readily accessible through the public domain

10. Date of Next Meeting

 12th March 2012 at 7pm, Lakenheath Library.

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