Com­mu­nity li­brary needs your help

Hunt is on for new vol­un­teers who want to be­come trustees

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

The li­brary has been op­er­a­tional for over 11 years but now its fu­ture is threat­ened.

The char­ity that runs the li­brary needs lo­cal peo­ple to step for­ward and be­come trustees, other­wise it may no longer ex­ist.

Over the last ten years, the li­brary has gone from strength to strength with a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in vis­i­tor num­bers and the num­ber of books is­sued.

The li­brary is run and funded en­tirely by vol­un­teers, peo­ple and busi­nesses who live and work in the vil­lage of Lit­tle Chal­font.

The vol­un­teers have re­ceived the Best Vol­un­teer­ing Group Award from Chiltern District Coun­cil, a Queen’s Award for Vol­un­tary Ser­vice, the MBE for vol­un­teer­ing groups, and the High Sher­iff’s Award for ser­vices to the com­mu­nity.

De­spite its grow­ing suc­cess, the li­brary is reach­ing cri­sis point.

The age group of the cur­rent trustees ranges from 60-70 years old, and some of the key man­age­ment fig­ures have health is­sues.

Although the trustees have ex­cel­lent skills and ex­pe­ri­ence, their health will ul­ti­mately de­ter­mine how long they are able to con­tinue work­ing for the li­brary.

Jim Brooks, Chair­man of the li­brary, said: “We have been try­ing to re­cruit new trustees for a long time but peo­ple are re­luc­tant to put their name for­ward.

“We have con­tacted peo­ple through the Lit­tle Chal­font Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion, through news­let­ters and we have even con­tacted our own vol­un­teers.

“Our trustees can­not con­tinue un­til they’re 80. We’ve got to face re­al­ity. We need new peo­ple with good man­age­ment skills to come for­ward.”

The man­age­ment team take on the var­i­ous roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that are re­quired to run a li­brary “busi­ness”.

This in­cludes: health and safety, data pro­tec­tion, fi­nan­cial man­age­ment, vol­un­teer and rota man­age­ment, fund rais­ing, event man­age­ment and more.

If the cur­rent man­age­ment team is not re­placed within the next year or so, Lit­tle Chal­font Com­mu­nity Li­brary may be forced to close.

“We are look­ing for per­sons with broad busi­ness skills and an in­ter­est in Libraries. Ex­pe­ri­ence of man­ag­ing peo­ple, and ide­ally vol­un­teers, would be valu­able,” said Brooks.

“There is no ap­pli­ca­tion process. The start­ing point is an in­for­mal meet­ing with me to learn more about the role and to de­cide if it is some­thing the per­son wishes to take for­ward,” he added.

The li­brary of­fers a range of ser­vices above and be­yond its core ser­vice as a public lend­ing li­brary. It has helped more than 100 com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions and so many other in­di­vid­u­als. Now it needs your help. If you are in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a trustee, please con­tact Jim Brooks on 01628 664812 or email jim­brooksmbe@gmail. com.

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