News Archive

The key points from our recent meetings are shown below.

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.

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.