Pevensey Bay Library Update

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We just wanted to update you as to what is happening with Pevensey Bay Library. We did it!
ESCC have told us that they are recommending that the Volunteers Network business plan is accepted by the council, subject to approval by the lead member. Volunteers Network is the CIC that now manages both Eastbourne Volunteers and Pevensey Community Hub & Library.

We actually submitted two plans to the council. One (and we made it clear this was our preference) was for Option 2, which meant that we would pay ESCC to provide exactly the same service as they provided before. We had already funded the first year of the project, however the council decided to choose our plan for Option 3. This involves running the library ourselves with no connection to the ESCC system.

We are disappointed that they chose this option, however it does offer us some exciting opportunities. There are many companies offering library management systems, and some of them offer exciting ways to get more children and young people engaged with the library. Because we were so successful in our fundraising we can afford the best system which will mean we can continue to provide a great service with good quality book stock. We are committed to providing the very best library that we can for our Parish, and we hope that you will help us!

Our next task is to deliver leaflets to every house in the Parish asking people to get involved. If you can help with this (even if it is just your road) then please let us know. At the same time, we will also be delivering invites to our first library meeting to be held on Friday June 29th, 6pm at St Wilfrid’s Church Hall in Pevensey Bay.

Over the last few months many of us have had to endure several stuffy and emotionally charged meetings in order to fight for the library, but now is the time to celebrate!
Our organisation is all about bringing people together as a community, so we thought we would ring in the changes by arranging our first meeting as a pot luck supper. We are all volunteers, so we need to enjoy the process of setting up and running this project!
Bring a dish of food to share, drinks will be available, and after we’ve updated you about the project’s progress so far and sought your views we can then sit down, eat and be merry together!

At the moment, we are aiming to reopen the library in September after the children have gone back to school, to coincide with National Read a Book Day. This is subject to all of the legal issues being resolved, but at the moment this seems achievable.
Over the summer we want to have several open mornings to join new members and also arrange some events like a teddy bears picnic to encourage more children to engage with the library. Many of you may have been following the progress of ‘The Pevensey Three’ on social media. (Three toys that escaped destruction in a skip and have been travelling around the village ever since stopping off with various members of our community who have shared posts about what they have been getting up to online). There has been loads of interest on Facebook in the story of these little toys and we can tell you now that they will be taking up residence in the library when it reopens in order to bring in more children too. We have lots of ideas to increase engagement between the library and the community, and we want to hear yours too!

We hope you can come to the event on the 29th if you want to hear more about the project and get involved. We need a management committee, volunteers to staff the library, volunteers to help with events, fundraising, and marketing. We would also love donations of books and other items we can sell in the community shop we want to set up at the site (we can’t call it a charity shop as we are not a charity, however essentially this is what it will be). Wait until we have the keys though as I don’t have any more room in my cupboard! We won’t be selling clothes due to storage issues, but we also want to sell new items produced by local artists and crafters. It should be a lovely addition to the village and also a useful source of income for the project.
There is a lot to do, and from now on we will send regular updates to those of you interested in following the library progress.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any further questions, if not, hopefully we will see you on the 29th! Our email address is pevenseyvolunteers@gmail.com

Helen Burton

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