News Archive

The key points from our recent meetings are shown below.

September 2018

Key points from the our coffee morning of 6th September and other updates.

Summer Reading Challenge 2018
We have had 167 enrolments and been busy throughout the summer with children using the Library. Special thanks to our SRC Volunteer Charlotte, who worked many sessions each week and also Andrea. Whilst we are a little disappointed with the numbers completing the challenge, at about 50% it is on par for the rest of the County. Nearly 20,000 children enrolled in Hertfordshire in total.

Presentations will be run by David, Lynn and Anita on Thurs 13th September at 4pm , Saturday15th at 12 noon and Tuesday 18th at 5.45pm and we anticipate about 20 children plus their families at each session.

National Libraries Week - 8th to 15th October
Wheathampstead is planning three contributions to this. A Library and Village Cluedo Game organised by Vivienne and Frank; a Singing Session on Monday 8th organised by Marion and David and an Open Knit Natter Know session with a new craft on Friday 12th organised by Karen and Catherine. All to be advertised with posters and through Facebook here and in St Albans.

Volunteers Update
We are now ready to take on about five new volunteers and an Induction Session will be run by Anita and Chrissie on Friday 5th October. So please spread the word. We have two new Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award Young Volunteers starting this month.

Training needs were identified in relation to Netloan – which will be run by Imelda from Libraries Community Services, Printing from Wi-Fi to be run by Sally, Manager of St Albans Library and Basic Book Group Protocols which will be run as a short session by Neil at the end of the next Coffee Morning on 19th October. When dates are sorted an we will send round an email and the sessions will be open to all.

WCL Projects progress
  • Knit Natter Know – continues on a Wednesday morning. By popular demand we will be running one additional Friday afternoon session each month when a new craft will be learnt. These will be open sessions from 2to 4pm and the first is on Friday 14th September when we will be making Bottle Lights.
  • Toddler Time – continues on a Monday afternoon from 2.30 to 3pm run normally by Anne and Gillian. This will focus on the age two plus and we have received some excellent new resources for this group from County.
  • BabyRhymetime will commence on Thursdays from 10.30am to 11am from October 4th. It is being run by new specialist volunteer Jane and her mother Corinne. They will be supported alternate weeks by keyholders Liz and Anita. 
  • Classics Connection and Teenage Promotion – we now have more books in both these areas and discussed having each as a ‘Theme’ with proper display, activities and publicity for a month. Possibly the Classic in November and the Teenage in February. All asked to think about how this can be supported. The initiative will need to be led by the champions, Maxine and Alice but with help from others and a small budget if needed.
  • Social Media – our Facebook page is drawing interest and thanks to Fanny for her efforts here. In discussion with St Albans they are happy to advertise our activities and vice versa but suggested we only post about once a fortnight. We also need to make sure that articles are proof read and Richard agreed to be involved here.

Champions and Project Leads
A reminder of who is doing what. All help much appreciated.
SPYDUS  Jan Matthews, Karen Warr, Lisa Wenz
BOOK GROUPS   Frank Agnew, Margaret Baker, Lynn Hall
TEENAGE BOOKS   Alice Mauchline
TODDLER TIME   Anne Roche, Gill Cliverd
CHILDREN'S BOOKS AND VISITS   Chrissie Chadney, Barbara Findlayson, Anne Roche, Jill Maller
DISPLAY   Anne Roche, Fanny Hamula
Social Media & Website   Fanny Hamala and Richard Brett
Reading Room   Sue Bruce
Knit Natter Know – Catherine Dale, Karen Warr
Classics Connection – Christine Anstice, Jenny Sugden, Maxine Webster
Toddlers and Baby Rhyme Time (Mondays 2.30pm) - Anne and Jane

Sarah Ryan has arranged with Waitrose that we will be the beneficiaries of their Green Token Scheme in October. Please encourage all your friends to put their token in our box.

NEXT COFFEE MORNING:  Friday 19th October 2018 at 10.30am

followed by a 20 minute training session on Book Groups




I am pleased to present the first report of Wheathampstead Community Library, following the settling up of this Un-incorporated Association, which is the body of Volunteers which now run the Library.

It is fifteen months since the public meeting which first explored the running of Wheathampstead Library by volunteers supported by Hertfordshire Library Services. Prior to this I had gathered around me four like minded souls who I persuaded to act as the Management Group for the Library. What we had in common was a strong ideological commitment to Libraries, often because we had benefitted from them ourselves earlier in our lives. We were all committed to the public service which libraries embody, were not prepared to see the library close and were, essentially all doers, not just ‘sitters on committees’.

With the help of Claire Baraclough from Herts Library Service we worked on the early stages of the transition process, setting ourselves up as Un-incorporated Association and signing a Partnership Agreement with Herts CC. An Un-Incorporated Association has a constitution, copies are available here, and it is under this constitution that we are holding this AGM today, open to members of the public and within which I am now presenting this report.

The last year has been purposeful, frustrating, fruitful, challenging, exciting. We have all gone through a huge learning curve, the management group and the forty five volunteers who have joined us and been trained to run our community library. We have had wonderful support from Herts Library Service, led by Andrew Bignell but I would like to give particular thanks to those who have been most involved with us in our Partnership Meetings and Training, namely Russel Barrow, Principal Librarian -Operations West Hertfordshire, Neil Baxter, Community Services Manager and Imelda Jackson, Community Services Librarian. They have been with us the whole journey but we must also thank the several Librarians from St Albans, our buddy library and Harpenden and from central services who supported and trained us.

Over the months we all received training and had the opportunity of ‘shadowing’ professional librarians. We learnt about all aspects of the ongoing running of a library and wondered, with amazement, how on earth a lone Librarian could have covered all these tasks at Wheathampstead in recent years. We came to understand all the necessary processes and rules and kicked against some – one real victory was being allowed to have volunteer young people being supervised by volunteers. We now have three of these and they add to our diversity. We all learnt to love or loathe Spydus and slowly the ‘computer fears’ which some had, were lessened. Computers still provide a constant source of frustration as systems go down but we have made our feelings heard about this.

Each month communication with Herts Libraries is focused though our Partnership Meetings where we meet with Neil and Russel and hear the latest information and are able to share issues and get support. We have two sets of monthly communication with volunteers. Firstly the Monthly Rota, organised with great perseverance by Lynn, who surely has the most frustration job on the management group. Secondly the monthly Volunteers newsletter email which I send round, usually just after the Coffee Mornings. The Coffee Mornings themselves have been a very useful opportunity for those who are free to get together, to keep informed, to share issues and explore future plans. The email goes on the Website every month so that is a source of information for everyone.

When we first started we were supported by Redbourn Library which was already volunteer run and some of our volunteers visited them. In turn we are now trying to support local Libraries which will eventually become Community Libraries, namely London Colney and Old Welwyn. We have found some efficient and inclusive ways of doing things and are more than happy to share these with others. We ourselves continue to have great support from our Buddy Library, St Albans and centrally particularly regarding the monthly finance collections, through Library Link and through targeted training sessions.

Wheathampstead Community Library was officially launched on 17th April 2017. It was a very successful afternoon and also saw the beginning of a set of projects which we now run with the aim of becoming an even more relevant and valued community resource. On Wednesdays we have Knit, Natter and Know and on Mondays a Babes and Toddler storytime. We are also at the first stage of setting up Classics Connection and we are continuing to host various school and nursery visits. Volunteers are increasingly taking on new responsibilities as Champions or Project Leads so we are spreading the load. Good friendships have been formed among the volunteers which is another positive outcome boding well for the future.

In closing this first report I want to thank all volunteers and our Herts Library colleagues. However my special thanks must go to the Management Group. To Richard Brett, David Ireson, Anita Edmond and Lyn Hall. Your commitment to every aspect of this venture has been unswerving and you have given me really great support. Thanks so much to all four of you and I am pleased to be able to tell this AGM that we are all prepared to serve as members of the Management Group for the next year during which time we would hope to second one or two other volunteers on to the committee. Our competence in running the Library will hopefully grow, there will be new activities and, not least, we will have to contend with the move to the Fire Station and the outsourcing of Herts Library Service to what will probably be a Public Mutual. I am entirely confident that with the support of all volunteers and our Herts colleagues, our Community Library will continue to develop and be a significant resource to Wheathampstead.
Thank you

Chrissie Chadney
Chair of the Management Group Wheathampstead Community Library
13th July 2018

July 2018

Key points from the our coffee morning of 13th July and other updates.

Volunteers update
Our five new volunteers have now ‘graduated’ and will be given regular slots. We discussed new applications and agreed not to send new volunteers away, including young people, but to ask them if we can keep them on the list for Induction in late September/October.

Three recent events of interest   
(a)  Chrissie gave a talk to Welwyn Parish Council on 25th June about how we progressed to becoming a Community Library. The PC have had to get more involved there as there is presently no management group but the Library has to ‘fly free’ by March 2019.   
(b)  Thursday 6th July was St Helen’s Reception Classes Library Visit. We ‘entertained’ some 50 five to six year olds and the children made a lovely thank you poster for us.   
(c)  David, with the help of several volunteers, ran our stall at Village Day on 8th July. Our book sale there raised £70. We discussed what to do with our surplus of books and decided
they could go to Shaws Corner booksales, Sainsburys and the Co-op book sales and Betterworld.

Day Book and IT Concerns 
The Green Day Book has been modified to make it more easily used. In addition at the other end of this book there are pages to log in every single computer/Spydus problem we have. Please all keep this diligently so all issues are recorded for future action.

Stock List
A set of possible teenage books have been identified by Alice Mauchline and her teenage daughter and a list handed in. Anne Roche expressed a wish to do the same regarding Children’s books.

Village Links
We discussed the ways in which the village and the library can be mutually supportive. Sus Bruce agreed to be a link with the recently opened Farrs Brewery Reading Rooms and Fanny Hamala with the Village Page website. We also discussed having more local books for reference only and being an outlet for local authors. We realise that we need to keep a quality check on these books but considered the idea of an Author’s Event with local author Janet Duggan. To be explored in the autumn.

A session for Keyholders will be held in the Library on Thursday 26th July at 10.30am. This will provide a chance to share views and identify training needs.

Wheathampstead Community Library Projects

Held on a Wednesday morning, this is thriving with nine members and the group recently made large tissue flowers for the stage set of a recent Carillon concert at Rothamstead.

This has proved very popular but after discussion we agreed that we would cease this group for the duration of the school summer holidays as we anticipate a lot more use of the children’s area with the Summer Reading Challenge.

We will reconvene in September and would ideally like to offer:

  • a babes rhyme time on a Thursday from 10.00 to 10.30am and
  • the Toddlers session before school collection at 2.30pm – 3.00pm on a Monday.

    However this will all  depend on volunteers coming forward to run the sessions. Anne Roche and Gill Cliverd were thanked for their considerable efforts so far.

    Neil is progressing our stock suggestions and exploring a limited rotation with two or three other libraries interested in the classics eg Chorley Wood.

    Champions and Project Leads

    A reminder of who is doing what. All help much appreciated.

    SPYDUS Jan Matthews, Karen Warr, Lisa Wenz
    BOOK GROUPS Frank Agnew, Margaret Baker, Lynn Hall
    TEENAGE BOOKS Alice Mauchline
    CHILDRENS’ BOOKS AND VISITS Chrissie Chadney, Barbara Findlayson, Anne Roche, Jill Maller
    DISPLAY Anne Roche, Fanny Hamula
    VILLAGE LINKS  Website: Fanny Hamala;  Reading Rooms: Sue Bruce
    Knit Natter Know – Catherine Dale, Karen Warr
    Classics Connection – Christine Anstice, Jenny Sugden, Maxine Webster
    Babies and Toddler Rhyme Time (Mondays 2.30pm) Anne Roche, Gill Cliverd

Summer Reading Challenge 2018

Local schools have now had all the necessary information. Barbara Findlayon is the St Helen’s contact and Chrissie Chadney the Girls Prep and Beech Hyde.

Chrissie, Anita and six other volunteers ran an SRC familiarisation morning for themselves and, at the end of this Coffee Morning, everyone was shown how to register children for SRC.

Stop press news – in the first three days we had registered 56 children which is excellent progress. We agreed that we will always need three volunteers on duty every session during the summer and if people can spare an extra hour to hear children read, they should just call in to the Library.
Chrissie remains the lead person for this project and has arranged the Presentation dates: 
Thurs 13th September at 4pm

Saturday15th September at 12 noon
Tues 18th September at 5.45pm


The Wheathampstead Community Library's first AGM followed the coffee morning and the Chair’s report is below.

May 2018

Key points from the our coffee morning of 4th May, Partnership Meeting of 13th May and other updates

  • The Launch of the Community Library on 17th April went very well. About 50 people attended including several of our Herts library Service friends and local councillors.  The event was reported in the Herts Ad and Mini Magazine. Shown above: Chrissie Chadney with Andrew Bignell, Head of Libraries and Heritage, Herts CC.
  •  Volunteers were thanked for filling in for the several session gaps that have occurred with holidays etc in May. A few more are needed now and we will certainly need a good few ’covers’ for June.
  • We now have five new volunteers and three on the waiting list. The five who recently completed their Induction are doing their ‘shadowing’ by being the fourth person on certain days. This is proving particularly useful as the holiday season is starting and many volunteers will be away.
  • Food Bank – we discussed how we might best link with the Food Bank should we believe that any customers needed this facility. We do occasionally get temporary people in need. A contact name will be put on the Office board along with reference link to Centre 33 in St Albans.
  • Quiet library periods - when you have spare time, scout around to tidy and find lost items ; recently three ‘lost’ books were found behind a fitting. Also make sure that the ‘Books for Sale’ trolleys do not have library books on them by accident and v.v.
  • Security – ensure that the safe is always closed when the library is open.
  • Wall displays – Anne Roche has a new display ready to go up, agreed this would be in June.
  • Carousel Displays – these badly need editing, re-organising and with proper signage. Karen, Fanny and Catherine volunteered to do this task on a Saturday.
  • Wheathampstead will be recognising people who regularly volunteer in the village by giving each a special badge with the Wheathampstead logo. All of our volunteers have been put forward and Richard is the liaison person for this.
  • The Photo Board on the wall next to the main desk. If your photo is not there please contact Richard who will take photos.


Please note the training below and contact Chrissie by email if you would like to attend.
  • Spydus – session by Jan Matthews on 21st May, 10-12noon; two places still available.
  • Training for Babes and Toddler Time – session by Herts Libraries Young People’s Librarian, Margaret Street, on Friday 8th June 10- 11.45am. 6 Places available -  contact me now.
  • Book Group training – Neil has told us that the way of processing Book Group reservations is being explored and if there is a problem we should contact our Buddy Library, St Albans, rather than Library Link. As so many people want to better understand how things work at present, he will run a demonstration in the Library for those who want it. Date to be sent round in next two weeks. Our Champions, Lynn, Margaret and Frank, will get additional training..
  • Netloan Training – several people said that they would like more understanding of this.  A short training session will be run by our new colleague Gemma. Dates to be arranged.
  • Summer Reading Project – as most of us will be involved in this in some way or another, Neil/Imelda will come to our next Coffee Morning and run a 30 minute session on SRC. Those attending will then buddy with those who can’t be at the Coffee Morning on 11th June to ‘train’ them.

Wheathampstead Community Library Projects

  • KNIT (K)NATTER KNOW started on Wednesday 2nd May 10am-12noon. Run by Karen, Chrissie and Catherine. We were delighted to have seven people for the first session and eight for the second. Crafts include knitting, weaving, crochet. The book being read at present is ‘Reading Allowed ‘ by a librarian and author Chris Paling.
  • TODDLER TIME we will run an amended version of this from Monday 4th June until the end of the Summer Term. It will be on Mondays from 2.30pm to 2.55pm and aimed at babes and toddlers en route to collecting bigger brothers and sisters. Lead persons as follows 4th June Jill Maller; 11th June Chrissie Chadney; 18th June Ann Roche. A second volunteer is needed for each session and lead plus one for further sessions. Also see ‘Training ‘ above. We will commence a full Storytime one morning each week in the Autumn. Chrissie will circulate the poster around the village.
  • CLASSICS CONNECTION - after discussion, it was agreed that we would start small by having the small wooden bookcase dedicated to the Classics in the first instance, displayed as we would any theme. Christine, Maxine and Jenny are the lead people here and will get the initial display up. We are keen to have some short written reviews of some of the books, displayed nearby. As Herts Libraries are keen on this idea we will ask if we can have access to a set of these books (authors to be decided) and not have them rotated but available on request loan elsewhere. At the Partnership meeting it was agreed that we will invite ‘Suggestions on Classics we might have ‘ from our customers. These along with a list prepared by Maxine will go through Neil as ‘Stock Suggestions’. He will arrange that we have a ‘small collections box’ of Classics which we might share with one other library.
  • YEAR 4 LIBRARY CLUB – this project is on hold until the Autumn.

Other Events

  • SCHOOL VISIT – St Helens’s Reception Classes Tuesday 3rd July 12.30pm to 1.15pm and 1.15pm to 2.00pm. We now need two LEAD VOLUNTEERS for this event, preferably those who also attend the training by the Young People’s Librarian.
  • SUMMER READING CHALLENGE 2018 – we have the preliminary notification for this and the theme this year is ‘Mischief Makers’. We now need a LEAD VOLUNTEER for SRC 2018. This will ideally be someone who will be around all the summer and prepared to drop in to the library a couple of times a week, (non rota) to undertake SRC activities, set the scheme up (starts 14th July) and ensure we have people to listen to the children read. Imelda from Herts will be the link person and will talk the volunteer through this. Please let me know by the end of May if you are prepared to be the lead here.
  • VILLAGE DAY 8th July. Once again we plan to have a Wheathampstead Community Library stall here, selling books and publicising the Library and its projects We now need additional VOLUNTEERS for this year to be on duty led by David and Richard. We also need good books. Please sort out books which we you feel we definitely can sell and bring to the Library week commencing 2nd July – not before as we have storage problems.

March 2018

Key points from the our coffee morning of 8th March and other updates

  • The Coffee Morning opened with the ‘hot off the press’ news that we have been awarded a £700 grant from the Locality Budget through Councillor Annie Brewster. Anita will now repay any monies owed and our healthy bank balance will contribute very helpfully to all of our development plans.
  • The Office Clear-out was much appreciated by volunteers – thanks to Neil and Imelda and those volunteers who worked hard to make it a decent working space.
  • We have just five weeks to go before the launch of our Community Library. From next week the professional staff will only attend for two hours on a Monday and Thursday and this will cease after Easter.
  • Volunteers were thanked for filling in for the several session gaps that have occurred with holidays etc in March. Three people are temporary additional Key Holders – Gill Partington, Liz Russel, Michael Smethers.
  • The Day Book has proved extremely useful and well used with lots of information and suggestions. All volunteers are asked to read it each session.
  • We discussed ‘Building’ things which we need to get help from County to resolve, namely 1) new large mat for front door; 2) overhaul of central heating system and bleeding of radiators; 3) acquiring a small heater for cold spells; 4) getting a copy of the safe key; 5) a CO2 fire extinguisher. Chrissie will pursue these with County.
  • Richard has now put up the Photo Board on the wall next to the main desk. If your photo is not there please contact Richard who will take photos.
  • Volunteer Short Notice Pool - Lynn requested that people let her know if they would be prepared to be in her monthly ‘short notice’ pool. This does not commit anyone to any extra session but if you might be available when we have only 48 hrs or less notice of a ‘gap’, then it helps to have a list of names to phone. PLEASE EMAIL LYNN NOW IF YOU ARE PREPARED TO BE IN THIS ‘POOL’
  • Training on Spydus – over twenty people have now been trained by our Spydus Champions, Karen, Lisa and Jan. Big thanks to them. Herts County will provide some more training by Lisa but we agreed that this was not now a priority and could wait until April/May.

Wheathampstead Community Library Projects -

Chrissie introduced four potential projects on which she had done some preliminary work and a useful discussion took place. In principle it was agreed that we should try to get at least two of them started immediately after the Launch, certainly the Toddler Time which we know is wanted. The following people agreed to lead the ‘next stage’ thinking for each. In each case a third or fourth volunteer would be helpful so make direct contact with the named people below or through Chrissie. In each case it would be good to have a two minute verbal report on ‘where we are so far with this’ at the Launch. Each group will need to think about how it is going to publicise the service and should contact David for help needed here and Richard for what is to go on the website.

  • The Library Club for primary children plus initial lead work on the Summer Reading Scheme – Barbara Findlayson, Anne Roche
  • Classics Connection – Maxine Webster, Jenny Sugden
  • Toddler Time - Jill Maller, Gillian Partington
  • Knit, Knatter and Know - Karen Warr, Chrissie Chadney

Launch of WCL Tuesday 17th April 4pm at the Library – all volunteers are invited to attend
Annie Brewster, Andrew Bignell, Head of Libraries, David Johnson, Chair of Wheathampstead Parish Council will attend and we will serve prosecco or juice and cake. Publicity about this will be arranged by David.

February 2018

Key points from the our coffee morning of 9th February and other updates.

At this Coffee Morning we welcomed David and Stephen from Redbourn Library. They were able to share with us their experiences of Redbourn Library at this period in its development as a community library.

  • Transition period now until Easter… From now on volunteers will be opening and closing the Library and the professional staff will be around for the middle two hours of each session. There will be a gradual complete removal of staff from mid March.
  • Key Holders who open and close …
    • Mondays:-       John Anstice, Sarah Ryan
    • Tuesdays:-       Ulla Perch, Marion Oxley, Jill Maller, Anita Edmond
    • Wednesdays:-   Lisa Wenz
    • Thursdays:-       Frank Agnew
    • Saturdays:-       Karen Warr, Christine Anstice, Fanny Hamala
  • The Rota - we now have a standard rota which will pertain every month on a fortnightly cycle unless individuals are away. If this is the case it is vital that Lynn is informed, ideally before she sends out the first draft for a month. We do not want to have to do more than two versions if possible. If, on the day, you are unexpectedly unable to attend your session, please phone directly into the Library on 01582 628680 so that your colleagues know.
  • The Volunteers Pool - we need some volunteers who will offer to be in the ‘Pool’ for cover as well as doing their standard sessions. There is no obligation for this but extra help would be appreciated.
  • Communication – Following suggestions at the last coffee morning we now have:
    • The Day Book ( Hard green cover to left of main desk). Anita has organised this in four sections 1) Information for all;  2) Frequently Asked Questions ( put these in and the Management Group will try to answer each week)  3) Mini Projects – the Management Group will put these in with dates for completion and volunteers are invited to put their names against a project and do it;   4) Suggestions and Ideas from Volunteers. Please read this book on each session you attend.
    • The Diary - as now. Please sign in every day and leave any current/everyday information for others on duty eg computers down 2pm to 3pm/ new stationery stock has arrived.  
    • The Monthly Newsletter - the newsletter on the website which Chrissie writes each month will also be emailed to all volunteers
    • The Photo Board – this is nearly completed and Richard showed us the mock up. It will be put up next to the desk this month.
  • Training on Spydus – the new manual is now in the Library and so training will begin next week for the next month. Our champions, Lisa, Karen and Jan have each given three dates when they can run sessions and Chrissie will email inviting attendees and sort out a rota, two to three people each session.

  • New Volunteers – are still wanted. The village has been leafletted again and we would like some five more individuals. All volunteers were asked to spread the word.
  • Events – We have recently provided one nursery school visit and will be hosting Yellowstar Nursery under 3s on 16th February, the Reception Class and Year 6 from St Helens in early March and groups from the Friday Mothers and Toddlers session. These sessions happen in the morning and volunteers who would like to get involved with this should contact Chrissie
  • Fundraising – Waitrose and Book Sales – Sarah Ryan is in contact with Waitrose Harpenden regarding our being recipients of the ‘green token’ collection; we hope we will be a named group in the summer. David is continuing to manage and refresh the WCL Book Sale trolley from which money is satisfactorily trickling in.
  • Consultation on Alternative Delivery Model for Libraries - ends 17th Feb 2018 decision in March. It is important that all volunteers read the leaflet and questionnaire about this and /or fill in the response on line. All alternatives have disadvantages but the status quo is not an option.

  • Fire Station news – a letter has been received to say that planning has been granted and it is anticipated that work will start in June 2018

January 2018

Key points from the our coffee morning of 8th January and other updates

Library Staff Withdrawal

  • Herts Library Service will commence the withdrawal of their staff from the middle of January. For the first fortnight volunteers will open and close the Library on three sessions a week and this will extend to all sessions from February. The professional staff will still attend for the middle part of each session. This transition period will continue until mid/late March from which time the Library will be fully volunteer run.

Community Library Launch

  • We will hold the formal Wheathampstead Community Library Launch on Tuesday 17th April 2018 at 4pm.  Watch this space for details.

Herts Libraries Consultation

  • County is now carrying out a public consultation on the ‘alternative delivery model’ for the Libraries Service. This closes on 18th February. They would like responses on line so please could all volunteers go on to the . It is really important that we all have our say and if you want to talk about this please speak to a member of the Management Group.


  • The Spydus manual is presently being produced by the library staff. As soon as this is available (we hope early February) we will be running a series of training workshops. We have some names already but drop a note to Chrissie if you would like to attend.


  • Volunteer Rota – we now have a standard rota and all volunteers have confirmed their Agreement to their normal times of duties. Inevitably there will be times you cannot do; please contact Lynn or Anita as soon as possible if this is the case.
  • Now that we have a standard rota we have been able to identify key holders for each session. The key holders are Lisa, Frank, Sarah R, Marion, Fanny, Karen, John & Christine A. The five members of the Management Group are also keyholders.
  • Lynn has produced a filing card set of contact addresses and emergency numbers for all volunteers. These are kept in a small box file in the office drawer.
  • Keeping in touch – please use the diary to sign in and write notes as necessary to each other. Volunteers have suggested that we have a day book which can deal with FAQs, note training ideas, and also through which we can ask for volunteers to do additional tasks eg display changing; doing the garden outside. We will get this up and running for February.
  • We would like a few more volunteers to be trained so that we have sufficient cover when people are away. Anita and Chrissie hope to run another Induction in early March. So if you know a suitable, keen person please let us know.


  • The photo board is nearly ready and Richard has found a place for it to go up. We would like a photo and first name of each volunteer so please see Richard and he will sort this out.
  • We now have a direct line telephone to the Library HQ at Welwyn Garden City. This replaces the video Library Link.
  • Book and magazine jackets (plastic) – it has been decided by County that these will not be supplied

Fund Raising

  • David will be re-doing the Book Sale Display with a new theme mid January. The money continues to trickle in and is kept in a separate box in the safe.
  • Sarah R has been in contact with Waitrose to see if we can be a beneficiary of their ‘green token’ fundraising at Harpenden store. (Redbourn Library is such this month).  Sarah and David will now make the formal application

Questions from the Coffee Morning

  • Problems with Stock Rotation (please would everyone check with Librarian that it is being done correctly and that the OK button is used after each instruction/entry);
  • Request that things are left for the late shift to do (not everything needs doing by 4pm);
  • Query about locking up when there are still people in Hall – we said that we should lock everything up whatever and if there are people still there then they must unlock/lock up when they go.
  • Clarification - Rota Week A starts 1st January and week B 8th January….the A/B continues week on week for the full year.

November 2017

Twenty one volunteers, along with Neil Baxter and Imelda Stewart from the Library Service, attended our November coffee morning.  


  • Spydus 10 Training has been given to five volunteers (Karen, Lisa ,Jan M, Lynn, Anita) who are now our ‘champions’. An overview, which anyone can attend, will be run by Herts Libraries on the morning of 17th November and Spydus 10 will go live on Thursday 23rd November. There will then be a series of workshops and all volunteers will get the dates and four can attend each on a first come, first served basis.
  • To assist our understanding of library procedures, the procedures manual is now available on PDF, in small sections. If any volunteer wants to do some homework on this please contact us through our email and we will forward the papers.

Monthly Rota

  • Volunteer Rota – the rota is now becoming more stable but inevitably, with the Christmas holidays, there will be some people unable to volunteer on their usual day in December. After discussion we will now be sending out to all volunteers their ‘Agreement’ so that you and the management group know when your standard volunteer sessions happen.
  • There will always be times when people cannot attend their session. We have identified a few people who will be ‘Pool Volunteers’ and can cover. Early information that you cannot attend your session is appreciated by Lynn and Anita


  • We now have 43 volunteers and 1 young volunteer. Everyone has been inducted and most are now well ahead with their ‘shadowing’. Chrissie read out the Risk Assessment she has had to do on our behalf as we have a young volunteer. •
  • Volunteers are reminded of Data Protection and the need to not use the information to which we have access for genealogical searches. Neil reminded us of the need for security with people’s pin numbers which must never be written on library cards.


  • We continue to work on the signage and the Volunteers Board, hopefully up in the new year. We now have a flip chart easel for training and stop press notices.
  • Whilst we now have a recycling bin, it is still not clear how this might be collected and for the moment we are all going to have to take some papers home to add to our own recycling.

Book Sales

  • David reported the disappearance of a box of Travel Books which he had gathered together for next theme on our own Book Sales trolley. More books on this subject would be welcome as he will change the theme shortly.

Library Visits

  • Knebworth Library, which is about nine months behind us in the transition to Community visit to visited on 23rd October.
  • Gill P and Karen went to visit Redbourn Library. A very comprehensive report of this visit will be sent out to everyone from our central email. The major learning was very positive and Redbourn would like to get together with us in the new year.

Other Matters

  • The internal plans for the co-located Fire Station /Library are now available and held in the library with the external plans
  • Herts Libraries is looking into the matter of mending the middle computer, acquiring a second scanner and providing a ‘hot line’ phone direct to Welwyn whilst we have no Library Link.
  • We understand that County is looking for one or two Home Library Volunteers in this area. This requires full DBS checking and if you are interested please contact Herts Libraries Outreach Services
  • The Head of Service, Andrew Bignell, has informed all Community Libraries that the Council is now considering a new model for delivering Library Services. This would be a form of outsourcing to a not for profit (NFP) body. This is only the beginning of consultation but more information can be found by Googling – Herts Library Services Alternative Delivery Model.

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Christmas Soiree 2017

A thank you to all of us - On the evening of Monday 11th December 2017 we held out Christmas Soiree in the Library  for all Volunteers and our friends from Herts Libraries.

There were nibbles, wine, soft drinks, chat and fun.

It was great to see everyone who was able to come along.



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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam porttitor augue a turpis porttitor maximus. Nulla luctus elementum felis, sit amet condimentum lectus rutrum eget.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam porttitor augue a turpis porttitor maximus. Nulla luctus elementum felis, sit amet condimentum lectus rutrum eget.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam porttitor augue a turpis porttitor maximus. Nulla luctus elementum felis, sit amet condimentum lectus rutrum eget.