Category Archives: Library

26 Oct, 2pm – learn about bats at Braunton library. £2.50 per child

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25 February – Film Club at Braunton Library showing ‘Local Hero’

  

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24 Nov – Friends of Braunton Library AGM

  

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Thursday 23rd July, 5 – 7 pm, Library Preview

  


  

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25 June – Braunton Library Film Club showing ‘The Bucket List’

 

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Friends of Braunton Library on their way

The Friends of Braunton Library group now exists with an initial membership
of 40 and growing. You can join now in the Library. We suggest a donation
of £1 to get us going.

Our thanks to all 60+ who came to the public meeting on Saturday 18th October.

Bill Petch and I reported with enthusiasm on the previous day’s briefing to community groups given by County & Suffolk Libraries on whose model the new Devon Mutual proposal is based. We, and others who attended, recommended
support for the model as it offered Devon’s 50 libraries an attractive
future with welcome opportunities for local involvement.

On the basis of a brief outline of County’s proposals (below) all at the
Braunton meeting agreed, and recognised the vital role for a Friends group, as an early first task would be applying to be a Pilot. We want to attract County investment in technology aimed at extending opening hours and freeing
staff time for working more with readers old and new.

There was lots of enthusiasm, and plenty of ideas – we must reach out to all parts of the community, engage with children and build on Save Braunton Library’s schools survey, organise events at times and places to suit families, promote the library and develop our vision for the future.

The next step will be to convene the new committee and schedule an evening meeting early November. We will have to develop and submit the Pilot proposal by 30 November deadline and start to plan a programme. We’re off
to a great start, do join us.

Paula Ferris

Acting Chair, Friends of Braunton Library

New DCC Proposals
* Create Mutual/Not-for-Profit organisation based on Suffolk Libraries model
* Mutual to be a partnership of Friends/community groups
* Which nominate Mutual Board members to set Service direction
* Mutual under contract to DCC for library service delivery
* Running all 50 libraries, to be in place by 4/16
* Current staffing to be transferred to the new organisation.
* Mutual can make savings not otherwise available
* Meanwhile it is business as usual for libraries
* 10 libraries (Friends Groups) to run Pilot Projects in 2015 & help
shape mutual.

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Friends of Braunton Library on their way

The Friends of Braunton Library group now exists with an initial membership
of 40 and growing. You can join now in the Library. We suggest a donation
of £1 to get us going.

Our thanks to all 60+ who came to the public meeting on Saturday 18th October.

Bill Petch and I reported with enthusiasm on the previous day’s briefing to community groups given by County & Suffolk Libraries on whose model the new Devon Mutual proposal is based. We, and others who attended, recommended
support for the model as it offered Devon’s 50 libraries an attractive
future with welcome opportunities for local involvement.

On the basis of a brief outline of County’s proposals (below) all at the
Braunton meeting agreed, and recognised the vital role for a Friends group, as an early first task would be applying to be a Pilot. We want to attract County investment in technology aimed at extending opening hours and freeing
staff time for working more with readers old and new.

There was lots of enthusiasm, and plenty of ideas – we must reach out to all parts of the community, engage with children and build on Save Braunton Library’s schools survey, organise events at times and places to suit families, promote the library and develop our vision for the future.

The next step will be to convene the new committee and schedule an evening meeting early November. We will have to develop and submit the Pilot proposal by 30 November deadline and start to plan a programme. We’re off
to a great start, do join us.

Paula Ferris

Acting Chair, Friends of Braunton Library

New DCC Proposals
* Create Mutual/Not-for-Profit organisation based on Suffolk Libraries model
* Mutual to be a partnership of Friends/community groups
* Which nominate Mutual Board members to set Service direction
* Mutual under contract to DCC for library service delivery
* Running all 50 libraries, to be in place by 4/16
* Current staffing to be transferred to the new organisation.
* Mutual can make savings not otherwise available
* Meanwhile it is business as usual for libraries
* 10 libraries (Friends Groups) to run Pilot Projects in 2015 & help
shape mutual.

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Libraries Consultation – the Proposals for DCC Cabinet 8th October

IMG_1916.PNGWell done everyone, we got the message across, no library is to close, no staff member to lose their job.  The proposal looks too good to be true, and could be – it represents a huge challenge to Devon Library staff and community  champions if it is to be delivered well and to time, but worth
it.

The proposals have been published with the DCC Cabinet papers for 8th October and can be seen in full here (and the results of the consultation itself can be seen here).

Here are the highlights as I see them  following a quick call to the Head of Library Services about the pilots and the centre/smaller library position:

“the best model for delivering an integrated, modern, professionally managed library service across the county”, saving all our libraries and their staffing.

a trust or mutual model (based on establishing a registered charity) to be set up which the Council would commission to deliver its statutory responsibilities – to be identified by end 2014 and pilots underway.

Based on Suffolk Libraries model.

One mutual for all 50 libraries, transfer of all staff, with greater community involvement.

2014/5 Ten Pilots (of community engagement with Library Service, not 10 individual mutuals as reported by the BBC), expressions of interest welcome from all 50 libraries

2015/6  £400,000 savings would be made on business rates, other savings needed then & in subsequent years

Devon Centres to be rolled out only in limited circumstances with Barnstaple next, & savings of £75,000 to £100, 000 anticipated

A new computer system, self-service, Wi-Fi on offer

April 2016 New operating model in place

Three of us will attend an Exeter briefing on 17th October and will lead a discussion of what all this might mean for Braunton at the Parish Hall meeting, 7.30 pm on 18th.

Paula Ferris
Acting Chair Friends of Braunton Library
friendsofbrauntonlibrary@gmail.com

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Save Braunton Library – Public Meeting – Sat 18th October, Braunton Parish Hall, 7.30pm – 9pm

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The forming of a Friends of Braunton Library Group – We welcome your suggestions

Over 150 people have signed up to show interest in supporting a Friends of Braunton Library Group, clear encouragement to those of us styling ourselves the Founding Friends to get on with it.

As one of the people bringing the group together Paula Ferris says, “To me Braunton without a library is unthinkable. By that I mean a library that is professionally managed and run, benefitting from community input, but not dependent on it.”

Community input encompasses the traditional Friends’ role, the one envisaged in the County’s own Friends’ Guidelines.” But there is a much more pressing role. The sub-text of the utterly confusing Consultation Process appears to be that Devon County Council is looking to hold “conversations” with communities about the future of their library service and hopes appropriate groups will emerge from the process that they can talk to. We have staked a claim on behalf of the Friends of Braunton Library Group and will start engaging in these conversations. We are glad to note that the Parish Council has also indicated its interest.

Our current concern is that despite reclassifying Braunton Library as a Medium to Large library and appropriate for a Devon Centre Model we are still hearing representatives from Devon County Council talk about a “volunteer run or community run” library in Braunton. We welcome the decision by Councillor Roger Croad to reclassify Braunton Library reflecting its true usage and any future discussions regarding Braunton Library need to reflect its true usage and status as a Medium to Large Library and appropriate for the Devon Centre Model.

We wholeheartedly reject the proposal to hand Braunton Library over to the community or volunteers to run, even with support from a manager in Barnstaple or elsewhere. It is not sustainable due to the size and usage of the library and the catchment population it covers. We are also concerned about the lack of real evidence that community-managed libraries deliver real savings.

So what next?

We need to get Friends up and running with input from across the community. We have just installed a notice board in the Library, kindly donated by Slees, and a Suggestions Box, to share information and exchange ideas. Please use it.

Our first postings are the Founding Friends’ Response to the Consultation, and a draft Friends of Braunton Library Constitution. The Constitution has to be based on current County guidelines, which it is belatedly looking to revise, and is similar to those used elsewhere in North Devon. We have added a first aim that we hope you agree with – To support a Devon County Council run and funded Braunton Library employing professional staff, open 6 days a week. Your comments are welcome. The Constitution will be considered at the first general meeting which will be open to all and advertised here, in the Library and on a Parish Board.

What next? We hope to have a general meeting soon after the holiday season, and preliminary planning meetings beforehand for those who want to help – watch this space. County’s timetable is unclear but it is likely that serious discussions will start early in the autumn. Some libraries’ savings will need to be identified by April 2015.

Founding Friends:
Paula Ferris, Acting Chair
Ben Hewitt
Sarah Hotchkiss
Paula Newbery

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Children speak out in support of Braunton Library and demand longer opening hours

“I think it would be a shame for the library to close. It provides a good variety of books and is suitable for a range of ages. It gives people access to computers and using the internet if they do not own a computer at home, and its great if you want to read a book you can just borrow it and return it when you have finished. “

You can borrow books sometimes you wouldn’t be able to afford”

“We want to read books”

“It’s local and easy to access when you need to find a book or some information for homework”

SAVE BRAUNTON LIBRARY CAMPAIGN CONSULTATION WITH CHILDREN

In June 2014 the Save Braunton Library campaign launched a new Consultation with Children with local primary school children (Year 2 to Year 6) to hear directly from them about their ideas and views on the future of their library.

An overwhelming 175 local children have taken part in the consultation sharing their personal views on the future of the library. The children who have taken part in the survey attend a variety of local primary schools including Caen Community Primary School, Georgeham Primary School, Southmead Primary School, West Down Primary School, Kingsacre Primary School, and Newport Community School Primary Academy.

Braunton Library is particularly well used by children and youth. Devon County Council figures show that children and teen stock make up 30% of all loans and nearly a third of all under 18s actively use the library. The children’s consultation was launched because local people said that the official consultation forms are very complicated and the public meetings have been held during school hours or late in the evening, thus excluding the views of children. Children and young people are in and out of the library the whole time and they have lots of ideas about its future. It is vital that children’s views are actively sought out and listened to.

This consultation findings have be submitted to Devon County Council to help inform decisions about the future of Braunton Library.

Summary Findings

  • The majority of children who took part in the consultation visit Braunton library (87%) and enjoy the library (85%).
  • Children said they like the variety of books on offer, the children’s section, friendly atmosphere, activities in the library and the fact it is convenient and easy to borrow books with one child saying “It’s local and easy to access when you need to find a book or some information for homework”.
  • When asked how to make the library better the main suggestion is to increase the opening hours. In the last round of cuts the library was closed half the week and children want the library open longer hours saying “open it every day”, “open longer”, “longer opening hours”, “open more times after school”.
  • When asked for any further comments there were many children who shared concern about the future of the library saying “don’t close it!”. Children also raised concerns about not being able to access a library in Barnstable if Braunton Library is to close.
  • Children made creative and practical suggestions on how to improve the library including “more seating”, “have a homework area for kids after school”, “more David Walliams Books”, “chess club”, “board games like monopoly” and a “longer time to borrow books”.
  • It was also noted that some children from outside Braunton answered the consultation as they were visiting the area to see grandparents.

Findings

  • 175 children from six different local primary schools took part in the consultation
  • 87% of children said that they go to Braunton Library
  • 85% of children said that they enjoy Braunton Library
  • Half (52%) the children visit the library after school
  • Just over half (57%) of children visit the library on a Saturday
  • The majority of children borrow books (86%) with nearly half borrowing DVDs (49%) and 17% of children saying that they use the computers.

What do children like about the library?

  • Variety of Books: The most popular answer was about the large range of books. Children highlighted the large range of books and books for all ages. For example: “Has a good selection of books and helps with my reading” and “The varied category of books, so there’s one for everyone”.
  • Friendly atmosphere: Children like the friendly atmosphere: “Friendly, helpful, useful, quiet, good for kids”, “its nice and friendly”, “I always feel welcome to come and read a book or talk to the librarians”, “the people who work there are kind and helpful”, “The library helps me learn”.
  • The Children’s Section: Many respondents specifically highlighted the children section as a positive place to visit and spend time, and “there is a kids section so you know where to go”.
  • Ease of use: Children highlighted the fact that it is easy to use the service, for example “I like that you can just take things and bring them back”, it is “convenient”, “lots of different books all sorted in A-Z order”, “that you can pick books for free”, “I can walk past it on the way home”, “I like that it is next to the school”, and “you can easily get there”.
  • Activities: Children enjoy the range of activities including “the badges for rewarding a certain amount of books”, “going to the activities the library arranges during the school holidays”, “loved going to sing and rhyme in the library”.       One child said “My sister enjoys visiting the library with her nursery Caen Caterpillars and listening to the staff read her and her friends a story”,

How could we make it better?

  • Opening times: The main suggestion from the children is about the opening hours, children said “open it every day”, “open longer”, “longer opening hours”, “open more times after school”.
  • Practical suggestions: Children made very practical suggestions such as “more places to sit”, “a quiet corner”, and “more comfy seating”.
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Friends of Braunton Library Group recommendations to Devon County Council

A number of people are coming together to form a Friends of Braunton Library Group to help support the long term future of Braunton Library.  As a first step the group wanted to send in a response to the fromal consultation.

Here are some headlines from the Submission to Devon County Council and you can read the full Friends of Braunton Library Submission.

Braunton Library sits at the heart of our community. It is a well-used and much loved library covering Braunton and surrounding villages such as Croyde, Georgeham, Woolacombe and West Down, and much of the support and goodwill towards the library is down to the great work being done by the librarians.

We wholeheartedly support the letter sent to Devon County Council on 9th June 2014 by our longest running book group[1] expressing their “dismay, disbelief and disappointment” at the news of more proposed cuts to Braunton Library.  Braunton Library in particular was hit very hard in the last round of cuts resulting in the library being closed for 16.5 hours a week.  Any decision about more cuts should not be made in isolation from the previous harsh cuts.

Despite the poor quality consultation process we wanted to take the opportunity to share our views to shape the decisions being made by Devon County Council:

1)      We welcome the decision by Councillor Roger Croad to reclassify Braunton Library reflecting its true usage. Any future discussions regarding Braunton Library need to reflect its true usage and status as a Medium to Large Library and appropriate for the Devon Centre Model.

2)      We wholeheartedly reject the proposal to hand Braunton Library over to the community or volunteers to run, even with support from a manager in Barnstaple or elsewhere. It is not sustainable due to the size and usage of the library and the catchment population it covers. We are also concerned about the lack of real evidence that community-managed libraries deliver real savings[2].

3)      We do believe that it is appropriate to look at a creative solution for Braunton Library working with a range of stakeholders in order to create a Devon Centre Model.  We know that there are social enterprises and other services interested in joining together with Devon County Council in this effort supported by a Friends of Braunton Library group. However, we need a clear commitment from Devon County Council to make this work. Our aim is for the library to be open 6 days a week with Devon County Council focusing its investment on keeping professional staff employed in Braunton. We believe that sharing premises and running costs will provide Devon County Council with savings but a sustainable future cannot be achieved without professional staff in place in Braunton and long term commitment to the model from Devon County Council.

There is an overwhelming amount of goodwill and support for Braunton Library and its librarians and there is the potential for a strong and vibrant Friends of Braunton Library Group to be established. However this community goodwill will be undermined if Devon County Council try to hand over its responsibilities by removing professional staff from Braunton or cutting opening hours.

We expect Devon County Council to manage the libraries in its network, to provide an accountable and professional service sustainable into the future, drawing on support from the community where practicable.  We give our support to some form of Community Supported Library in Braunton, with the intention of achieving its greater integration with the wider community and “improving the offer”.

We look forward to working alongside the Library Service to explore ways of achieving a brighter future for Braunton Library

Founding members of the Friends of Braunton Library Group

[1] The Braunton Library Group has met in Braunton Library every Monday morning for 17 years and has raised over £4,500 for new books.

[2] A recent Warwickshire Scrutiny paper which considered the impact of community-managed libraries 18 months after their establishment found that the level of support required from the Council on a day-to-day basis from volunteers was so significant that, in real terms, it may not be saving the Council very much money

 

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Save Braunton Library Campaign launches consultation with local children

The Save Braunton Library campaign has today launched a new consultation with local children to hear directly from them about their ideas and views on the future of their library.

Braunton Library is particularly well used by children and youth. Devon County Council figures show that children and teen stock make up 30% of all loans and nearly a third of all under 18s actively use the library.

Ben Hewitt of the Save Braunton Library campaign said “Children and young people are in and out of the library the whole time and they have lots of ideas about its future. Sadly the consultation forms are very complicated and the public meetings have been held during school hours or late in the evening. It is vital that children’s views are actively sought out and listened to.”

Local schools are sharing the new consultation form with children and asking them to fill in the forms with their parents over the coming weeks. The information will then be shared with Devon County Council as a formal submission before the end of the consultation period on July 17th.

At the start of the consultation  process Braunton Library was wrongly categorised by Devon County Council as a ‘small and less used’ Library and Councillor Roger Croad has reclassified Braunton Library as a Devon Centre model reflecting its true usage and size, including  the active usage by children and youth.

A copy of the Braunton Library Pupil Consultation can be Braunton Library Pupil survey 2014

untitled

 

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Save Braunton Library – 28 May – Public meeting with County Councillors

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Save Braunton Library Campaign! What to read and where…

The Consultation is now underway which will affect the future of Braunton Library.

1. Consultation introduction
You can read the introduction to the Consultation here.

2. The proposals
The specific proposals are set out here. Click on each proposal for the details. The most significant as far as Braunton is concerned is proposal which you can read here.

3. How can we save our library?
The consultation closes on 17th July (although note that paper responses need to be in by 10th July) and it’s essential that as many people as possible respond. You can fill in the online questionnaire here. But this isn’t merely an exercise in voting for the library to stay open. The consultation is actively looking for suggestions as to how the community might become involved in the running of the library. They give examples of other libraries which have been saved and they provide good inspiration for thinking of ideas for Braunton. You can read those examples here. These range from Porlock Library which has harnessed volunteers and financial support from the Parish Council to Gamlingay Eco Hub which has provided another way of harnessing local community support and spirit.

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Save Braunton Library – please respond to this consultation

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Save Braunton Library – see this meeting on 16 June and respond to the consultation

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12 March – Author Lilian Harry at Braunton Library

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Braunton Library Christmas opening times

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23 Jan – author visit to Braunton Library

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