May was a month of milestones for us. This means you get a longer update email than usual. Thanks for your continued interest in the future of the library!
We are now committed to the vision for a community-led Earlsdon Library which we have been developing for several months. In summary the vision is to run a full-service library provision alongside a revenue-generating community space. We aim to have paid staff working alongside volunteers, to work with the council to ‘co-produce’ the library and community space, and to have a long transition phase that builds capacity and tests sustainability.
Our business case has been submitted to Coventry City Council. This is a requirement for any group wanting to get involved with services as part of the Connecting Communities programme. It gives an outline of our proposed delivery model, financial arrangements and other practicalities for a community-led Earlsdon library. We don’t currently know how the council will respond to our proposals but we hope to begin discussions about a formal agreement with them soon.
We have registered a new not for profit company that would be able to run the library and community space.
We’ve been given our own key to the library! Initially we will just hold our meetings there and get to know the space a bit better, but it feels like a big step to us.
Regular visitors to the library will have seen the cosmetic improvement brought by the recent redecoration works. Investment by the council in advance of the proposed transfer to community management is very helpful to a small group like Earlsdon Library Friends. We’re also pleased to have had some early discussions with the council about other ways they can help to get the library ready for its proposed new life.
Engagement with local people
Thanks to everyone who spoke to us during the Earlsdon Festival and at the SENA AGM (thanks also to SENA for inviting us to present). These events were great opportunities to discuss our ideas for the future of the library with local people. More people offered their time, skills and ideas, and there was strong interest in use of the community space. In addition quite a few people have asked us what will happen to particular activities and facilities after September.
When we’ve reached agreement with the council about a way forward we’ll be able to give proper answers about volunteering, services and use of the building. We’d prefer not to commit to anything until then so please bear with us – and rest assured we know you’re waiting to hear.
Hopefully it will not be long until we get some certainties that let us start turning the vision for the future of the library into reality. We’ll let you know when we do!
If you’ve got any thoughts or questions on the future of Earlsdon Library you can get in contact by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter (@EarlsdonLF) or Facebook (@EarlsdonLibraryFriends).
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Earlsdon Library Friends