The Stoke Gifford Community Library, located in the mezzanine above the Tea Rooms in the St Michael’s Centre, North Road, has recently celebrated its one year anniversary.
The volunteer-led library service first opened its doors on 10th October 2017 after it was announced that South Gloucestershire Council’s mobile van service would no longer be running. The library was originally run by a team of three volunteers who gave up their time every other week to provide this service to local residents, many of whom are unable to travel to the main library in Bradley Stoke. Since then, the number of residents visiting the Stoke Gifford facility has increased significantly and there are now seven volunteers who run the library, which is now open once a week.
In the last four months alone, they have issued 21 new library cards to members of the public and numbers have increased so much that the volunteers are considering opening the library twice a week.
Peter Day, one of the original volunteers, said:
“There has been a steady growth of people coming to use the library. Even though we only have a small selection of books here, we are able to order books for free, which has been a really popular service with the local residents. We are really happy to see that people of all ages are coming in to use the library and are thrilled that we’ve been able to keep this service going for the community.”
The services that the library offers have proven to be very popular with the residents of Stoke Gifford as they are able to order books which can then be collected at the library and borrow DVDs for free. Both of these amenities come with a charge at the Bradley Stoke library. The length of time that you can borrow books for is also one week longer than at Bradley Stoke.
Jack McGinley, another volunteer, said:
“We are giving people the opportunity to read for free and it is nice for the older folks in the community to come and see a friendly face.”
Carol Clare, who has also volunteered since the library first opened, added:
“It is very exciting seeing the numbers of people coming to the library increase so much. During the first quarter we had 33 people come to take books out of the library and by the fourth quarter this had risen to 121!”
After requesting a wider selection of children’s books, the community library has recently received a delivery of over 30 picture books and chapter books which are now available to borrow. To take a look at any of their new or existing books, please pop along to one of their sessions; their opening hours for November are:
- Tuesday 6th Nov, 2pm-4pm
- Thursday 15th Nov, 9am-11am
- Tuesday 20th Nov, 2pm-4pm
- Thursday 29th Nov, 9am-11am
The library is also offering a new service, called Borrow Box, where you can borrow free eAudiobooks online or with the library app. For more information on how to download the app or eAudiobooks, please speak to one of the volunteers at the library.
Photo: Community library volunteers (l-r): Rachal Gunn, Jeremy Gunn, Jack McGinley, Jackie Day, Carol Clare and Peter Day.
This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 19). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.