News for Volunteers

July 2019

NOTES from the Coffee Morning 20th July 2019 and immediate actions

NEWS - Part One – The New Library

  • This first Coffee Morning in the new Library was attended by about 16 volunteers and we also welcomed four colleagues from Hertfordshire: Mark (Business Improvement Manager), Sally, Neil and Alison.
  • In addition we were very pleased to welcome Anthony and Adrian, two of our Fire Service colleagues who explained how the station operated, particularly when they had a ‘shout’ . Last year this station had 95 ‘shouts’. On the suggestion of volunteers we now have a Charity Box for the Fire Service on the front desk for loose change etc from users. 
  • The Move – We successfully moved into the new Library on 15th July - thanks to tremendous work all around the move from the Old Library took place successfully, and we all welcomed our new, light, attractive building. We have inevitably identified a number of glitches and these are noted below, in no particular order, with planned actions, all of which Mark has in hand.   We will be reviewing the Library layout on 10th September with Herts Libraries colleagues, and meanwhile any observations and dieas should be written in the Green Book.

  1. DOORS - closures too heavy and the need for the use of two hands renders them effectively unusable when carrying anything. A child got locked in the Disabled Loo on the first day as the top handle too high
  2. KERBS - there are two jutting up/out kerbs between the disabled parking and the path in. Cllr Brewster tripped over one and CC also. Mark suggested putting a large planter there as a temporary measure and this was done by CC over the weekend.
  3. NOTICE BOARDS - there are very few at present but two more will come shortly
  4. PAINTED WALL DISPLAY – This will go up shortly, high in the Childrens’ Area . It is very attractive with a Dr Seuss quote, trees and our Love Libraries logo
  5. KINDER BOXES – the three provided are insufficient. Mark is discussing with Sue, Childrens’ Librarian and we will receive an additional, slightly different box in 4 to 6 weeks
  6. LIBRARY LINK – The pod for this, to go in the corner by the window should arrive shortly
  7. AUTOMATIC DOORS – these are not yet fully operational so we will not use the alarm until they are. Expected to be sorted next week
  8. FIRE STATION MATTERS – snagging is needed on the Fire Station’s glass display cabinet and the back door. 

  • We then discussed issues that volunteers had already identified which could cause problems.

  1.  HEAT – in warm weather the Library is excessively hot and indeed one volunteer and one customer had to leave during the week as it was unbearable. The staff office is simply too hot to work in but this is due to there being two heat producing cabinets in there. There is no air con but an air transfer system which should suffice but in excessive heat we have had to open the Fire Door to get a through draught and this has caused other issues (see below). The large windows are lovely but heat is increased by them, especially the front south facing one. However it is highly unlikely that this one will be able to have a blind. RESOLUTION  Mark has now ordered two oscillating fans which should arrive next week. Mark is meeting a Blinds Contractor on 29th July to discuss.
  2. CHILDREN'S AREA – this cannot be seen at all from staff desk. Children have been misbehaving and can run out of the Fire Door which also cannot be seen. RESOLUTION T wo notices to be put up reminding parents and carers that their child is THEIR responsibility, not that of volunteers, and more volunteer walking around to ‘cover’ the childrens’ area , especially if the Fire Door has had to be opened for heat reasons.
  3. FRONT DIVIDING VERGE – Children will be able to run out of the automatic doors potentially onto the Fire Engine track. Again, doors cannot be seen from staff desk.   RESOLUTION  Consider putting a small, low wooden fence along the dividing verge.
  4. RESERVES SHELF – all agreed it was not well placed by the front door. It only needs a small area and there are several other suitable places for it. RESOLUTION  Explore and move
  5. STORAGE – we are short of storage for our well used folding table and chairs and the stationery etc storage is a muddle. RESOLUTION CC to speak to Fire Station colleagues re.tables and small hands on working party to sort stationary and the misplaced childrens books on Friday 26th 10.30am.

The Library layout should essentially stay as it is for the next 6 weeks and on Tuesday 10th September there will be a review with Herts staff and some of the Management Group. Meanwhile all ideas for optimising the space and identification of issues should go in the Green Book.

The formal launch of the New Library will take place at a date to be decided in September.

NEWS - Part Two - Other News

  • Outsourcing of Herts Library Service - we have now heard that from October, Herts Libraries will be run by a Public Mutual Organisation 'LIBRARIES FOR LIFE', which has many of the exising Libraries Management in its team.  It is not anticipated that this will have any immediate effect on the Community Libraries.
  • Support for CSU - the Library Service has problems at the moment with van drivers, book rotation and distribution. Frank, Kate, Marion, Jackie and Maxine have kindly done sessions at WGC to help the service out.
  • Support for other libraries - we have been approached by Brookmans Park volunteers who are setting up their Community Library.  They have visited us and discussed what we have learned.
  • Village Day – this was very successful and we raised £70 from book sales. Thanks to Frank and the team. An article is to go in the Village Pump written by Ellie, Parish Communication and Events Officer.
  • Summer Reading Challenge – we had to start a day late but in four sessions have signed up 62 children, organisation led by Lisa. We have additional help with reading from Charlotte who was around last summer, Bella and Janet who are new volunteers, and Andrea and Sarah A. These will not be on the rota but available on a drop in basis and all other volunteers can lend a hand as necessary, with thanks. Presentation dates have been set and Gill P. has kindly agreed to use her calligraphy skills for the certificates.  The 2019 SRC Presentations will take place on Thursday 12th Sept at 4.30pm; Saturday 14th Sept at 10.30am; Tuesday 17th Sept at 6.00pm.
  • Storage - we are short of storage for our well-used folding table and chairs and the stationery, etc.  Storage is a muddle.  Chrissie will speak to our Fire Station
  • colleagues about tables, and a small hands-on working party sorting out stationery and the misplaced children's books took place on 26th July.

Rotas and Volunteers
Lynn asked for help for the forthcoming August rota and is grateful for the offers received over this weekend. Four new volunteers, Kate, Rukhsana, Bella and Joe (D o E) will be around just gaining familiarisation with what we do before their induction training and appearance on rotas from September. We have had a few changes of personnel, namely Beryl and Janet E. who is leaving us - our thanks to them - and Jill who is moving from keyholder on Tuesdays to support for Anne with the Childrens’ activities. John Kearns will be taking over Jill’s Tuesday slot.


The Knit Natter Know Group ran a New Craft session on Needle felting on Friday, 26th July, and a session on Pottery Glazing will be held on Friday, 30th August.

Monthly Themes

It was agreed that the new large revolving display stand should now be our ‘theme’ display and a ‘this month’s book interest’ display.

August - Travel     Sarah R

September - France    Fanny    or  Language    Andrea (tbc)

October - Nature    Jenny

November -  Gifts you can make    Karen

December - France    Fanny    or  Languages    Andrea (tbc)

Jan 2020 - New Year Wellbeing     Lisa

Feb 2020 - Winning Books & Films     Jo

Issues from Volunteers

WAIVING FEES - A recent incident with a customer who owed £25 but blamed the Library Service for not emailing her (when there was no email address on record) was discussed. Volunteers Christine and Maxine were in a difficult position and phoned Library Link. Neil confirmed that we have the right to decide what to do in these circumstances, remembering to safeguard library use by children but being fair also to all library users who do not abuse the service.


Fanny has offered to run a ‘Spydus Revision’ training session for anyone who wants this. It could be early one evening (not Tuesdays) or early Saturday afternoon. Please email Chrissie if you want to use this and thanks to Fanny.

The IPAD is now updated and running. It makes sense to use it more. Karen and a few others are familiar with how it works and if you want training, again please contact Chrissie.

NEXT COFFEE MORNING - Monday 9 September 2019 at 10.30am

Click on the News Archive link above for previous news bulletins for volunteers.