HOT OFF THE PRESS:
INFORMATION FOR ODIHAM LIBRARY MEMBERS:
Do you have a book to return?
Odiham Library remains open until 31st December 2020. From January there will be book drop box in The Bridewell for an additional six weeks so that loaned items can be returned to Odiham. Due to the Covid lockdown, the office is currently closed so please post your books through the door if they will fit and we will collect them when we are next in the office. If you have a larger book, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will arrange a convenient time.
Where is your local library?
As a member of Odiham library you are able to use all Hampshire public libraries and from January the three closest branches are at Alton, Fleet and Chineham.
You can get information on all public libraries in Hampshire, including the full range of services on offer and opening times on the HCC website at: www.hants.gov.uk/library If you do not have access to the internet you can get information on public libraries by calling 0300 555 1387. Hampshire County Council Library Services also operate a Home Library Service and a Good Neighbour Service that may be of help if you are unable to visit the library. Please visit the website or call 0300 555 1387 for further information.
The Closure of Odiham Library – what has happened so far:
In July 2020, following the published results of the Library Service Consultation, and the need for a reduction of £1.76 million from the library budget, Hampshire County Council took the decision to reduce the staffed opening hours at Hampshire libraries and to close eight branches. Odiham Library was one of the libraries selected for closure at the end of December 2020.
In September, in response to local residents, OPC established the Odiham Library Working Group to explore the options and viability of forming a community managed library in Odiham. The Working Group membership included OPC Councillors and representatives of active community organisations who had made deputation to HCC earlier in the year, objecting to the closure of the Library and expressing a strong interest in maintaining public access to books. Local schools were also invited to provide representation due to the heavy usage of the library by school age children. Throughout this process HCC officers and Councillors have supported OPC to research and support the formation of an independent community library.
Organisations represented on the working group are:
Hampshire County Council
HCC Library Service
The Odiham Society
Buryfields Infant School
Mayhill Junior School
Robert Mays School
OPC agreed that the Working Group’s aims would be to:
- Make the best use of the Odiham Library building for community use.
- Provides Odiham & North Warnborough residents with access to a supply of books.
To do this the Working Group researched various community library models to see what could work in Odiham that would be financially sustainable and would continue to provide the community with access to books.
After presenting the research for discussion at the Working Group meeting the members agreed that the Book Exchange community library model, run by volunteers was the most sustainable library model to run.
At Full Council on 17th November OPC agreed to propose to HCC the Book Exchange model and to lead on the funding application for a transition grant, available from HCC, to form a community led library.
What is next?
OPC submitted the application to transition to the Book Exchange Community Library and for the transition grant funding to HCC.
The outcome of this Community Library application and transition grant application will be known mid-January.
All being well the Working Group will be able to make plans to launch the Book Exchange Community Library in the late Spring of 2021.
Would you like to volunteer in the new Community Library?
If you are interested in volunteering to help with the new Book Exchange Community Library please email email@example.com OPC will keep you informed of the latest volunteer developments.
Further updates about progress of the Book Exchange Community Library will be shared here and on Facebook
Timeline of relevant meetings and decisions made to date:
|20.07.2020||HCC||Issued recommendation to close Odiham Library.
|21.07.2020||OPC Full Council||Agenda 65/20 resolved to pursue discussions with HCC and review options to make best use of the library building for the community and keep access to books for the residents.|
|18.08.2020||OPC Full Council||Agenda 89/20 resolved to set up a Library Working Group to research options and feasibility for a Community Library.|
|08.09.2020||Odiham Library Working Group||Agreed to research: community led library models; to gain further grant information from HCC; to look at Bridewell building costs; gain further information from HCC on existing library users.|
|15.09.2020||Full Council||Agenda 109/20 resolved to revise the working group’s terms of reference to include additional representatives.|
|07.10.2020||Odiham Library Working Group||The members reviewed the independent library models and agreed that: OPC was considered to be the best placed organisation that could initially manage the community library transition; a sub group would investigate further the feasibility to run a book loan system or a book swap system; further investigation in the volunteer induction and processes; further research in the current HCC Membership Scheme and Good Neighbour Scheme. Also agreed that OPC would separately investigate options for the future ownership of the Bridewell with HCC.|
|15.10.2020||Odiham Library Sub-working Group||Agreed to recommend: establishing a book exchange scheme in the Bridewell; research a volunteer run system to support residents to continue to access the library reservation system; acquire PCs for the community library to support continued public access to IT and to manage access to the book exchange eg members database.|
|20.10.2020||OPC Full Council||Agenda 135/20 updated Cllrs on progress so far.|
|11.11.2020||Odiham Library Working Group||Considered an options appraisal that looked at a book exchange model and a book loan model. Decided to recommend a book exchange model to OPC.|
|17.11.2020||OPC Full Council||Agenda 155/20 Agreed to support a voluntary, community led, book exchange to be proposed to HCC. Agreed to lead on the funding application for a transitional grant to form a community led book swap exchange.|
|02.12.2020||OPC||Submitted applications to HCC to transition Odiham Library to a Book Exchange Community Library and for the Library Transition Grant.|