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Haddenham Community Library goes from strength to strength

Haddenham Community Library continues to delight local residents, thanks to a large and dedicated team of volunteer helpers and the creativity of the management team who, together, offer a diverse portfolio of services and activities aimed at a wide range of interests.

Steve Sharp, Parish Councillor and Chair of the Library Trustees, has been delighted with the progress made since Bucks County Council handed over control of the Haddenham Library and, on Thursday 20th March, he chaired the first meeting of what will become a regular quarterly opportunity for the Community Library's volunteers to meet staff and Trustees. The primary aim of these meetings is to discuss how things are going and share ideas for the future. Some 20 of the team of 50 volunteers were able to attend the first meeting.

The meeting was co-hosted by Emma Barrett the library manager. Other Trustees present were Larraine Gooch and Tim Mozley.

Steve thanked the volunteers for the excellent way in which they have helped to not only keep the library open but enabled it to develop towards achieving its vision of becoming a facility for the whole community.

Examples of the increased community activities and facilities include:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Refurbishment of the widely-used children's area and regular story times for children, led mainly by volunteers
  • Weekly 'Knit and Natter' and spinning groups
  • Thames Valley Police drop-ins
  • Links with health promotion groups
  • Family history seminars with Eve McLaughlin
  • A bridge club
  • Stronger links with local primary schools and Lord Williams' School in Thame
  • Older persons' days
  • Computer induction and training sessions (see here)
  • A quarterly CV clinic
  • Hosting Village Society AGMs and a meeting of Haddenham and District Rotary Club
  • Meetings of the new Haddenham Writers' group

Steve also explained the recent improvements to the counter area and facilities for staff and volunteers. These will be completed next week, in conjunction with the Children's Centre, who are helping finance them. Steve referred to the list of sponsors and donors which is set out on the 'Honours Board' in the library foyer and made especial appreciation of support from the Parish Council, the Village Fete, Haddenham Beer Festival Trust, Rectory Homes and Haddenham Garden Centre which has enabled the library to be financially viable and afford the improvements.

Ideas were invited for the future. It was commented that while the library is often busy in the mornings, especially now that it opens at nine o'clock and is convenient for young families and mothers, there are opportunities for village organisations to meet in the library in the afternoon.

The library aims to be available to all in the community and to continue providing its core services. Comments and ideas are always welcome — please offer your thought and comments at the library reception, or drop an email to Steve Sharp via: Stephsharp@aol.com

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