News Archive

The key points from our recent meetings are shown below.  (Please note that there were no news bulletins during our Covid-19 closure.)

September 2019


Following discussions at the Coffee Morning and with HCC we have now changed the layout of Fiction Shelves and the alphabetic shelving. This is making it easier for volunteers and customers.

We will be receiving two more small shelving units and two new replacement trolleys.


We are still awaiting action on the external matter of the unsafe kerbs and the full commissioning of the automatic doors. When this is completed volunteer key holders will get keys and use the Fire Door for entry.

We continue to await the large TV screen for the Fire Service use and for the barrier and parking guidance to be clear outside. The parking here is for Library Volunteer Staff plus those with a disability.


Herts Libraries will be run by a Public Mutual Organisation ‘LIBRARIES FOR LIFE’ which has many of the existing Libraries Management in its team. This will commence on 1st December 2019.


We had just over 100 children completing the SRC challenge this year and held three successful Presentation Events supported by lots of parents and carers.


Our four new trainee volunteers are now entered as green on the rota and we have had a further four enquiries.


Following discussion at the Coffee Morning, a proposal has now been drawn up to have a ‘Village Conversation Corner’ immediately in front of the Library. This will encompass the Fire Station and Library Notice Board, for which we will seek funding, and a right angled ‘chat bench’.

Funding for this may be available from Wheathampstead Businesses Group. It would remain to fund the landscaping. A full proposal is now being written.


  • Re-starting of Saturday Storytime from 10.30 to 11am.
  • John Anstice has kindly volunteered to run some Maths Sessions for young people taking GCSE or A level Maths. These will take place on a Friday from 4.30 to 5.30pm. He would like one other volunteer to join him as a support person – you do not have to be a maths expert to be this.
  • Evening opening – we agreed that we would delay this until the Spring


These need to be re-sited but will be near to the main door.

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


A joint Fire Service/Library diary is now in use.


Please do not stick things on any windows. All immediate notices should go on the Flip Chart by the front door.

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.

May 2019

Key points from Keyholders’ Meeting of 3rd May, the Coffee Morning of 20th May and other updates.

The New Library

As anticipated there has been a delay in the completion of the new Library. Latest dates are as follows -
Practical completion 24th June followed by fit out.
Present Library last day Sat 6th July.
Closure, decant of books etc. 8th to 13th July.
First day in new Library Monday 15th July.

If any volunteers would like to help the professional staff with the setting up, sign up to drop into the new Library from the Wednesday onwards. These dates could still change.

We have confirmed to County that we like the green for the Children's Corner and would like purple and grey chairs. We have a number of older customers who like to sit at a standard table and read the paper and suggest a swap of the low table for a smallish higher one to go in the area where Library Link is on the plan. Also we'd prefer Library Link table near photocopiers etc. Ideally we would still like a coffee table and low chairs.

Our Fire Station colleagues – the lead officer has been invited to attend the next Partnership Meeting with the Management Group on 31stMay.

As the opening of the new Library is later than expected, it was felt that the formal Launch should be left until September.

Our Summer Reading Challenge will now start on the opening day, 15th July so extra volunteers may be needed that day.

A full stock edit will take place by County before the move. We do not stock edit. All volunteers have re-iterated to County their concern of overstocking a few authors which then limits new authors and shelf space. We will see if we can have an ‘additional copies’ shelf somewhere in the new Library.

Publicity for the new Library will be provided by County but in addition we should try to get an article in local papers and magazines and a new pavement edge notice board. Funding for the latter will be sought from the Community Libraries fund for 2019/20. We will put together a flyer advertising all the Library facilities and events and will circulate this widely once opening date is formally confirmed. All publicity can be put on the Herts Libraries website.

Displays in the new Library will need to be put up during the first week of operation as there is no lead in time. Our thanks to Anne for beautiful Childrens Area displays to date. It would be good to have both internal and external displays/notices/landscaping etc completed by the end of July

The iPAD will be used more in the new Library and training will be given.

Other recent news

Village Day - Once again we will have a stall at Village Day on Sunday 14th July. We will use this opportunity to advertise the new Library opening. Good quality, saleable books are needed and can be left at Frank’s house opposite Marford field. David and Frank will arrange the stall and Anita, Richard, Lisa, Gill have offered to help to staff it. All volunteers welcome.

Opening Hours - After discussion at the last Coffee morning it was agreed that we should try to offer one evening opening at the new Library. Thursday was the agreed day, from 6pm to 8pm and volunteers will be asked if they will offer to do this for an eight week trial period from 25th July.

Visits and Schools Involvement - On Thursday 23rd May Yellow Star Nursery will visit for a general browse at 3.30pm. Anita will lead. On Friday 24th May St Helens Reception will visit for an ‘Introduction to your Library session’ in two groups at 9.45 and 10.30. Chrissie will lead and Frank and Lisa will assist. Beech Hyde (Marion), St Helens (Barbara) and St Albans Junior Girls School (Chrissie) will be visited in early July to advertise the Summer Reading Scheme and new Library.  

Rotas and Volunteers

It was agreed that now the newer volunteers are trained up we should divide so that no more than three people are on each session. Lynn will look at the rota in this respect.

We will invite new volunteers for training from September and particularly will seek those prepared to help with children's activities.

Projects and Monthly themes

Projects progress - All established projects are going well and the ‘New Craft Fourth Friday’ session now has a timetable for the rest of the year which will be publicised. The Saturday morning Storytime session will be re-advertised and start again as a pilot on 27th July with a new time of 10.30am.

Monthly themes – please volunteer for the gaps and thanks to those who have done the displays to date.
  • June:             Wood Turning    -    John 
  • July:               France    -     Fanny 
  •  August:         Travel    -     Sarah R 
  •  September:   ?
  • October:        Nature    -     Jenny 
  •  November:   Gifts you can make    -        Karen
  •  December:   ? 
  •  Jan 2020:     New Year Wellbeing    -    Lisa
  •   Feb 2020:    Winning Books & Films    -     Jo

AGM and the Management Team

The AGM of WCL will be held at 12noon on Friday 19th July 2019 immediately after the Coffee Morning. This is a public meeting and will be advertised in the village.

Frank has agreed to be seconded to join the management group and with Lisa and Frank as additional members the original team can feel confident of the future.

Summary of actions by volunteers and management to take place in next month

Volunteers -
  • Consider helping with new Library book stock from 10th July and sign up for this at staff desk
  • Summer Reading Challenge refresher course will take place on Thursday 6th June 10.00-11.30am. Please do come, you don’t have to book in advance but can, again, sign up at the staff desk. 
  • Consider volunteering for the pilot scheme of Thursday evening opening 6pm -8pm from mid July
Management -
  • Arrange dates for SRC Presentations in September
  • Arrange acquisition of new large notice board for pavement edge at new Library. • Flyer for new Library facilities and activities
  • New Thursday evening opening volunteer special rota
  • Source new volunteers , especially for children's activities
  • Advertise AGM

April 2019

Key points from the Partnership Meeting of 29th March, our coffee morning of 5th April and other updates.

Recent News  

News about the Fire Station move (notes below directly from the Partnership Meeting) – 
  • Date for building handover is 20th May. There will then be a furnishings fit out period by FG, and we therefore anticipate the move around the third week in June.  Herts Libraries staff and the Management Group had a long and detailed discussion about the three changes that the Management Group had proposed, none of which can happen. It transpired that the internal structure of the Library building had been ’set in stone’ for many months and the Management Group expressed considerable frustration that the meeting of 7th February had invited our views. Acknowledging the disempowerment of not only the Management Group but also Herts Libraries, as it is Herts Property Services that call the tune entirely, the Management Group reluctantly accepted the situation. Should one of our proposed changes, that is the location of the lavatory door, be found to be definitely needed, that could possibly be a minor works job in a further year. All agreed this was an appalling waste of money and needless bureaucracy, but this is the case.
  • The new kiosk, by agreement, will not now come to this building but will be installed in the new Library.  Herts have promised that the old one will be properly supported during the next three months.
  • One of the proposals made by the Management Committee concerned the size of the Library staff desk as we find we need two computers all of the time. However an iPAD could be used by volunteers for some of the activities presently emanating from the table computers.  Our iPAD will be updated and training will be provided by Herts staff in the near future, starting with keyholders.
  • Our Fire Station colleagues – a good meeting had taken place with Herts Libraries and Ian Veal, Commander of Wheathampstead and Redbourn Fire Stations. There are between 6 and 12 volunteer retained fire fighters. We will try to have a local meeting between both parties in June.
  • Site Meeting – a site meeting attended by Chrissie, Lisa, Russel and Mark will take place on 11th April at 10am.
    Update from Community Libraries Forum – The Public Mutual body , called ‘Libraries for Life’, is being set up and the tender bid to run Herts Libraries will be going in shortly. We know that there are two other contenders for the contract. The Chair of the Board is Richard Wilson OBE.

    Finances – We have now received £500 as a further grant from the County localities budget, courtesy of Annie Brewster to whom we expressed our thanks. David handed over a further £30 from book sales, so at the moment our finances are good.  

    Publicity - It was noted that Mini Magazine has some details incorrect and David will speak to Eve Atkins about this and also advertise the new Saturday Storytime.  

    ‘Wonderful Whimsical Wheathampstead’ - 
    Lisa introduced a recently published book ‘Wonderful Whimsical Wheathampstead’.  The local author has donated a copy to the Library as a reference book, and volunteers are able to purchase a copy if they wish.

    Rota and Volunteers

    Volunteers -
    • We now have 43 volunteers having lost two to illness.
    • Our thanks go to Jan Matthews and Gill Cliverd who can no longer attend but have been stalwart volunteers and we all wish them well.
    • We have one new D o E volunteer, a volunteer’s daughter, starting soon but would welcome more D o E as the present group have now all ‘graduated’.

    Projects and Monthly Themes

    Projects progress –
    All projects are going well with good, sometimes over high, attendance.
    • We are planning to pilot a Saturday morning Storytime (9.30am to 10.00am ) after Easter. This will be led by Fanny with Gill Partington doing one Saturday a month and one further volunteer is needed. This now needs to be advertised, targeted at 4-7 year olds. 
    • Sue Bruce has kindly volunteered to assist Anne Roche with Monday Toddler Tales.

    Monthly themes
    (this has been applauded by Herts Libraries! ) 

    • April:   Holistic Therapies  -  Anne
    • May:   Germany  -  Barbara
    • June:   Wood turning  -  John
    • July:   France  -  Fanny
    • August:   Travel  -  Sarah R
    • September:   Languages  -  Andrea
    • October:  Nature  -  Jenny
    • November:   Gifts you can make   -   Karen
    • December/January:    Please volunteer . . .
    • February 2020:  Winning books and films  -  Jo


    Dementia Awareness Training for Volunteers 1st & 12th April
    The courses on 1st and 12th were very good.

    Library Processes 

    • It has been re-asserted that we do not have to do any stock editing.  St Albans will do this.
    • Volunteers are actively encouraged to use Library Link whenever there is a query that they cannot answer pretty immediately.
    • A new platform for logging in using Chrome is being trialed and we will be used for the pilot, as long as this does not clash with the move.
    • Wireless printing from mobile phones. This has not been possible and volunteers have tried to help customers to no avail, despite the instructions on the wall. This need to be dealt with through St Albans library as it is understandably a potentially popular resource.

    Other Matters and Issues from Volunteers 

    Some of us, particularly but not exclusively those living alone, sometimes find they need a helping hand. We are good at volunteering so maybe we can help each other out. A new page has been added to the green book where you can state
    • your name,
    • contact number,
    • nature of the help needed,
    • how long i.e. 1.5 hours you think you’ll need and
    • when you want this done by.
    If a volunteer thinks s/he can help, please phone the person direct and make arrangements.

    Schools relationship – All volunteers are asked to consider how we might build even closer relationships and involvement with local schools.  This is particularly important as the move may discourage some parents/carers from bringing their children in, as the parking will not be quite so convenient.

    Keyholders Meeting -  The Management Group will run a Keyholders Meeting in the next six weeks, and ideally the iPad training can be part of this. Proposed dates are Fridays 3rd May am/pm; 10th May am; 24th May am/pm. Chrissie will write round to get best date.

    February 2019

    Key points from the our coffee morning of 25th February and other updates.

    Recent News  

    Management Group -
    Lisa Wenz has been seconded on to the Management Group.

    News about the Fire Station move – The management group reported on a meeting about the interior layout held on 7 February with Herts. There were three things which we all considered needed revising. First was the re-instatement of a glass door between the lobby area and main library; secondly the removal of the lavatory door from the main library into said lobby and thirdly the need for a two computer desks, not just one computer, at the staff area. It was agreed that Chrissie would contact Russel Barrow to follow up these requests. In terms of time line we are still expecting to move in April and the Library will need to close then for about ten days.
      Update from Community Libraries Forum – The Public Mutual body is being set up and the tender bid to run Herts Libraries will be going in shortly. In June/July the bid will be awarded and implementation will be July/October. At present it is unlikely that this change will affect us greatly.

      Grant Application - The Community Libraries grant application for £300 has been successful.

      Finance and Equipment –
      Now that the grant from the Community Libraries Fund has been received, Anita has ordered one folding table and four folding chairs, needed for our increasing activities. We will be receiving a new kiosk during the first week in April and will be helped by Liam and Alison to use it. 

      Rota and Volunteers

      New volunteers -
      Andrea Berry and Maria Denham received their ‘badges’ at the Coffee morning.

      Closures - 
      It is unlikely that we will need additional closures over and it may be that this period is our closure for moving anyway. 

      Projects and Monthly Themes

      Projects progress –
      All projects are going well.
      • The recent Knit Natter Know Monthly New Craft session raised £50 which will be kept for additional craft initiatives.
      • There has been a request for a ‘Storytime Session’ on a Saturday morning with 13 people expressing interest. It was agreed that this could be piloted by the Saturday team with Fanny running it alternate weeks. We need volunteers for the other weeks. Andrea and Gill P have agreed to consider this, once a month each, so Fanny will be asked to contact them.

      Monthly themes - 

      • March:   Comedy  -  Margaret 
      • April:   Holistic Therapies  -  Anne
      • May:   Germany  -  Barbara
      • June:   Wood turning  -  John
      • July:   France  -  Fanny
      • August:   Travel  -  Sarah R
      • September:   Languages  -  Andrea
      • Oct/Nov/Dec:  Please volunteer . . .


      Spydus Training
      Karen & Lisa have kindly agreed to run a few Spydus sessions, contact Chrissie.   

      Dementia Awareness Training for Volunteers 1st & 12th April
      We have had a good response to this opportunity; 14 attending on 1st April and 12 on 12th. Please contact Chrissie for places. 

      Other Matters and Issues from Volunteers 

      The encyclopaedias – Sarah Ryan has now arranged for these to go to a charity which send books to Somalia. This is much appreciated.



      December 2018

      Key points from the our coffee morning of 4th December and other updates.

      Recent News  

      Fire Station - 
      It was reported that the progress, (22 week build), with the new library is on target. The contractors should be handing over the building in March and following the fit out we can expect to move in April or early May. From the new year there will be discussions about layout and equipment and we will be involved. There will need to be a closure for at least a week during the removal period. We agreed that we should have a ‘new library launch’ probably in May.

      Equipment -   At the Community Libraries Forum, a new fund was announced. It was agreed that we would apply to this fund for purchase of a ‘Monthly Theme ‘ table (foldable) and four folding chairs.

      Newspapers -   The standard daily paper will shortly be the Guardian. This was welcomed, but we agreed that we will pay for the continuation of the Daily Mail as this is well used. Our customers will now have a choice.   

      PLUS -   The Public Libraries User Survey was completed and we registered about 140 users.

      Wheathampstead Community Group Internet Café –   At present the use of the Library on a Tuesday morning is organised through County. Once the move has taken place, this relationship, subject to agreement with WCG, will exist with the Community Library rather than County, as it is a community resource.

      Rota and Volunteers

      Holiday Opening - 
      It has been agreed that we will not open on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve along with the standard Bank Holiday closures.  Please offer to cover someone/gaps on the rota.

      Volunteers - 
      These now number 41 with three new volunteers awaiting training, and we have five D of E young people volunteers.

      Projects and Monthly Theme

      are going well with good take up by members of the community. Lead volunteers as follows:

      • Knit Natter Know (Weds am)          Karen, Catherine
      • Toddlers (Monday pm)                     Anne, Gillian, Barbara
      • Babies (Thursday am)                       Jane and Corinne (specialists) Anita, Liz 

      Monthly theme - 
      This was agreed in principle at the last meeting.   A back screen and table have now been set up near the door and the Armistice material is being displayed. This will change to a Christmas display mid-December. We need two people to take charge each month to research and set up the ‘theme’. January and February 2019 are already arranged:

      • January:         Arts and Crafts            Karen and… 
      • February:                 Classics Connection    Maxine and…. 

      The following were other suggested themes.  If any volunteer would like to take the lead on any of these, please contact Chrissie now with your preferred month/s, and Chrissie will set up a Monthly Themes Rota.    Can you offer………..

      Holistic Therapy,  Poetry,  Cooking,  Gardening,  Travel,  Local Interests,  Comedy,  Music,  Teenage,  Children

      Training - 
       New volunteers training will take place in January run by Chrissie and Anita.

      The outstanding short training themes are:
      • Netloan, (dealt with at December Coffee Morning) 
      • Printing from computers and 
      • Basic Book Club procedures. 
      Although notes regarding all of these are in the manuals, it is still helpful to have a short training session.  A session will take place at the end of coffee mornings.

      Other Matters and Issues from Volunteers 

      Communication -   
      The time has come for a private ‘Volunteers’ section on the website. Richard will set this up and all volunteers will have the password. In relation to print communications, David will continue to liaise with Mini Magazines, Herts Ads, the Pump, The Vine and do notices. Richard will continue to update the website and will discuss the Facebook page with Fanny. We agreed that it must be kept up to date or removed. Sally King has offered support in putting information on the St Albans Library website and/or meeting with her Comms team.

      Fundraising –   
      We gained £258 from fundraising in the Waitrose green token scheme. Thanks to Sarah Ryan for arranging and a thank you letter being sent to Waitrose.  David has raised a further £20 from book sales and another £32 from books at The Reading Room.

      Wheathampstead Community Safety Forum –   
      The Community Library has been invited to attend this as we are now recognised as a ‘community resource’. Richard Brett already sits on this in another capacity as does Gill Partington, and they will double up to represent our interests.

      Customer matters - 
      • We were warned to be aware of customers trying to get new cards when they have been blocked due to unpaid fines. 
      • If someone wants to take out a book but only use it at the Library, it is acceptable to put this in an envelope with their name on it and hold it for them, at the staff desk. 
      • Young users – we have a Colouring box held in the office which can be used whenever volunteers require. Leave out on ‘children's’ table but put away each night. 
      Thanks -  Special thanks this month to Karen and Catherine who have at last tamed our excessive leaflets and made them much clearer and accessible to customers and to Anne for the lovely Christmas display in the Children's corner. 

      October 2018

      Summer Reading Challenge  
      It is confirmed that we had a very successful Summer Reading Challenge with a 60% plus completion rate, better than the County average.

      National Libraries Week
      We contributed successfully to National Libraries Week with the Clover Choir Session, Knit Natter Know Open New crafts afternoon and the Village Cluedo. The latter had sixty entries from both the Library and St Helens School and it was great that so many village shops were involved, with the hidden book being located in the Butcher’s shop.
      Special thanks to the following volunteers who made an extra contribution to our Community Library here, namely Marion, Karen, Catherine, Viv and Frank.
      Next year we will try to publicise our planned events more widely through County and in the Village Pump.

      Project PLUS (Public Library User Survey)
      Jo Brown from County spoke to us all about this County survey which will take place in selected libraries, including ours, from 5th to 11th November.
      The survey takes about 6 minutes to complete and all customers who come into the Library that week must be surveyed on the sequentially numbered forms. If people do not want to complete the form they need to be simply recorded.
      It was agreed that the Key Holders on each day should be responsible for giving out the survey and helping customers where necessary.

      County Community Libraries Forum
      Chrissie and Lynn attended the first of these forums, chaired by Andrew Bignall on 23rd October. Representatives of the 5 existing and 5 ‘nearly there’ Community Libraries attended.
      We heard the latest news about the ‘outsourcing’ of the Library Service. A ‘shell Public Mutual’ will be formed shortly, led by Andrew Bignell, but the whole process will have to go through full procurement so will take longer than anticipated.
      We were asked to identify our Library’s greatest success and greatest challenge and volunteers offered the following. There was unanimous agreement that our greatest challenge was the dire technology which is so often unfit for purpose. There were lots of suggestions for our greatest success. These included

      • completion rate for SRC,
      • never having had to close as sufficient committed volunteers,
      • upping the Library and its volunteers’ profile in the village,
      • becoming a more relevant and valuable community resource through our projects,
      • building a great volunteer community with lots of new friendships.

      Green Book Matters
      Technology -   All will be aware of the numerous IT problems we have had recently including one ‘total meltdown’ day and last week one ‘total chaos’ day, all recorded in the Green Book. A strongly worded letter has been sent to County by the Chair and various responses received. There is now an investigation regarding the degree to which the poor electricity contacts in this village (we have numerous power cuts) could be effecting the working of all aspects of our equipment, a situation which would need to be fully rectified before our move to the Fire Station. Meanwhile absolutely all problems MUST be logged in the Green Book, along with the SERCO reference number for the incident.

      Two procedure reminders for all:
       Stock Editing -  Despite the instruction in the Library Bulletin, as a Community Library we are NOT to do stock editing. We have not been taught to do this properly and St Albans will continue to do this for the time being. Doing stock editing over zealously leaves us with empty shelves and so we have recently had to ‘un-withdraw’ several books.

      Reservations -  The joys of the GDPR – volunteers who write the full name of someone who has reserved a book on the reservation identification slip, rather than the first three letters of the family name plus initial if we have more than one person reserving with said first three letters of the family name, will be personally hung, drawn and quartered by the Chair.

      Volunteers Update
      New Volunteers - We have three new volunteers now going through Induction and Lyn will put these onto the November rota for their shadowing. Our two new D of E volunteers are being inducted by the Key Holder/Team Leaders on their rota session.

      Rota -    It is really important - if you know you will be away for your session during a forthcoming month - that you drop an email to Lynn, ideally before the 20th of the previous month, so that she can take this into account and not have to do quite so many revisions of the rota.

      Training -   Volunteer training needs identified such as for Netloan, Printing from Wi-Fi, Basic Book Group Protocols will be run as a short session at the end of the next Coffee Mornings wherever possible. This makes it difficult for those not attending the Coffee Mornings but once a number of people know the right way of doing these, they can spread the word.

      WCL Projects progress
      Knit, Natter, Know (Wednesdays 10-12 and New Craft Monthly Friday pm) continues to go well with eight to ten regular members, about the maximum for which there is space.

      Toddler Time (Mondays 2.30pm) also continues to be well supported with some parents and carers also attending our new Thursday session.

      Baby RhymeTime (Thursdays 10.30am) has got off to a roaring start with a very good take up, clearly providing for a community need.

      Special thanks to the following volunteers who give extra time to our Community Library to run these events.
      • KNK = Karen and Catherine;
      • Toddlers = Anne, Gill, Barbara;
      • BabyRhymetime = Specialist volunteers Jane & Corinne, plus Anita and Liz.

      Other Issues
      Fundraising -   Sarah and David reminded us to use the Green Tokens at Harpenden Waitrose to support the Community Library fundraising in October and encourage all friends to do likewise.

      Book Genre Identification - Large Print Stock – we discussed sorting these by genre but agreed that what is really needed is clear external labelling eg for Romance, Crime, Sci-Fi etc. Chrissie will check how this can be done with Imelda.

      Lost Property –  we now seem to have a lot of this. Chrissie will enquire of Imelda what needs to be done.

      Newspapers – many of us have commented on the dearth of a quality newspaper in the Library. Ann Howie is kindly buying the ‘I’ newspaper to go alongside our regular paper for seven days. Volunteers are asked to see how the usage of this appears. Chrissie will email Imelda to see if we can take two papers.

      Local Activities for pre-school children – it is clear from the response to the two groups that we now run that there is a need in the village for under five activities. Quite often we are asked about this and as a community resource we should be able to tell customers what is available, especially as we understand that this activity is no longer happening at the Childrens’ Centre. Agreed that we will find out all the different groups and put a poster up to promote all of them.

      Monthly Theme – it had already been agreed that a rotating monthly theme would be a good thing, to keep customers interested. We felt it should best be displayed not too far from the door and it would need a back display board and a small table. This has now been ordered. It would be good if a couple of volunteers could take on the task of setting this up and then organising the people to do the monthly or maybe bi-monthly theme display (not doing it themselves). For instance we could home in on a special author or current subject of interest or local activity. Classics Connection would probably like to do a theme early in the new year but we do need someone to look after this. PLEASE contact Chrissie if you could help here.

      Christmas Celebrations
      The Management Group would like to invite all volunteers to a Christmas Celebration now set on Tuesday 18th December from 6.30pm to 8.30pm in the Library. Canapes and drinks will be provided and it would be lovely if everyone could call in.

      Some volunteers may want to organise lunches in small groups, e.g. at the Wicked Lady or the Swan, which would be lovely but would have to be at own expense. The Knit Natter Know group have already set a date for this.

      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


      FRIDAY 13TH JULY 2018 AT 12NOON


      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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