A local library has been given a major boost thanks to partnership working and the enthusiasm of local volunteers – and there are exciting plans ahead!
What better way to celebrate this than to have a big party both inside and outside the library. With activities including Arts & Crafts and the Balloon Man; an array of helpful services available and lots of biscuits and cake – there really was something for all ages to enjoy. It was also a great chance to have a look around and see what an excellent facility it is.
Crowds of people came through the doors of the library and to the stalls outside all afternoon, with Kingstanding Library recording its busiest ever day on record.
A partnership between Birmingham City Council Libraries Team and Witton Lodge Community Association, has seen the popular library receive a facelift, with complete re-painting to the outside of the building, entrance area and new notice board – so people can see what’s going on locally. This complements the extensive refurbishment to the children’s area.
Thanks to local councillors, with the support of Witton Lodge Community Association, the library is now also able to offer a wide range of new services, including Job Club (where people can get completely free 1-2-1 employment support in a friendly and relaxed environment); free Housing Advice (1-2-1 sessions where people can speak with a housing specialist to discuss the applications process, see what’s available and anything else to do with housing), and Living Well Advice (where people can come in and discuss a wide range of activities to help them get fit and healthy – and also be referred to more specialist support if needed).
Throughout the summer there will also be Arts & Crafts sessions to keep the children entertained, completely free of charge. This is also running alongside the libraries own Summer Reading Challenge. It is a great way of introducing children into a library, see how they can take out books and really get them interested in the world of reading.
The work at Kingstanding Library complements the work Witton Lodge Community Association are doing at nearby Perry Common Library, where, thanks to the tremendous enthusiasm of a team of local volunteers and Witton Lodge staff, the library is now able to stay open all day every Friday (where it was originally scheduled to close) and offer a wide variety of services.
Local parent, Lisa-Marie Inman, who had bought her 4 children to the Re-Launch Party said “It’s the first time I’ve been in the library and it’s really good. It’s really nice to get the kids doing something that does not cost anything, doing something different and I don’t have the mess to clean up too!”
Oscott Councillor Barbara Dring says: “As local councillors, we have worked hard not only to keep the library service open and to increase the range of services for local residents. We are pleased to be working with Witton Lodge Community Association to do this and I am delighted that some of these services have been showcased at the recently refurbished Kingstanding Library. The attendance today shows the enthusiasm there is from local residents to use our libraries.”
For more information about the project, to become a libraries volunteer, or if you are a local group interested in working from a local library, please contact Lauren Fridlington on 0121 382 1930 or Lauren.Fridlington@wittonlodge.org.uk.