Five libraries in Gateshead are becoming voluntary - ie the Council will no longer staff them but volunteers will run them instead. Gateshead will still provide the building and books, but the labour will be provided by people in the community. In Marley Hill, one of the villages in my ward, we seem to be going in a different direction. The village has no library but at the Community Centre, my proposal to set up a second hand book library was agreed at the management meeting on Tuesday.
It will work as follows: people will be asked to donate books; on the days we open the library, our cafe will also be open; people can read the books whilst consuming coffee and cake; if they like the books they can buy them and take them home and once they have finished reading them, they are welcome to donate them back to the Community Centre. The aim is to get more people through the doors of the building as well as to raise funds.
We already have our first donation of books. Two large boxes arrived from Whickham Rotarians yesterday at my house. They collected them at their shop in Whickham and have an unending supply. We can have as many as we can take. As yet, however, we haven't set the date for the first library sessions – that’s one of the jobs I need to sort over the coming days.
On delivery of the books yesterday, I was inspired to start sorting through my own books to filter out the ones that can be donated. As a result, Marley Hill library is going to have a fantastic history section!