Since November last year locals Helen Burton, Daniel Brookbank, Gill Parsons, Lin Clarke and Diana Terry have been working hard to come up with a plan that would save the library and also give the Pevensey community something it has needed for a long time: a community hub.
None of us wanted the library closure and we fought hard to stop it, however we are delighted that East Sussex County council have approved our plan to reopen the library as “Pevensey Community Hub & Library’. We want to open asap but it will depend on ESCC and the landlord. We are aiming for Sept/Oct.
The team behind this project have already secured funding for the first year and have chosen a library management system which will create some exciting opportunities for our community.
Volunteers Network CIC (which already runs the Eastbourne Volunteers community hub in Eastbourne and publishes the Eastbourne Voice newspaper) will take on the cost of the library building and overall responsibility, but the project will be run by a local management committee and volunteers. We welcome everyone’s input and if you want to be involved please get in touch!
Our new opening hours:
Initially we are proposing to open the library 2-6 Tuesday to Friday & 10-1 Saturday morning. We hope to extend the hours further as the project evolves.
- We will open up the toilet to public use.
- We will offer tea, coffee, soft drinks and refreshments at the library.
- We will offer low cost A4 printing.
- We will turn the managers office into an IT suite.
- We will have a comfy seating area and folding tables for events such as coffee mornings for the Pevensey Senior Support Group and craft sessions.
- We will also sell locally produce products, art and handicrafts.
All of the existing fixtures, fittings and book stock will be retained.
Our new library management system is the most comprehensive on the market and it brings us as close to the ESCC system as we can get as a community run library. We will even have our own app! You will be able to browse our whole catalogue from our website, including info about the book, book covers, reviews and videos of interviews with authors. You will be able to reserve books from home, and also leave your own reviews of books you have read for other library members to see. Eventually, there is a chat facility we will use so that members can talk to each other – a virtual book club for those that may not be able to visit the library in person.
Once you have logged into the system you will be able to see what is trending in the library, you’ll have books recommended to you based on your reading history and you’ll be able to see any new books in our library. You’ll also be able to message library volunteers. Whilst this new interactive online library may not interest you, we hope that it will help to engage young people in the library. Children and young people will be able to use the library at every session now due to the change of opening hours, and we hope to offer them a lot more, with storytelling and rhyme time sessions and a fun reading and homework area.
Keep your ESCC library card! You will be able to access ESCC services online through our library. This includes several online subscriptions including Ancestry, Find My Past, the British Newspaper Archive, Times and Sunday Times Digital Archive, Bodleian membership and Which online consumer advice. In addition, we will also purchase several magazine subscriptions for the library which will offer new benefits.
You will need to rejoin the library in order to borrow books and you will also receive a new library card. Although we are keeping the existing stock of books we would love more book donations. We will also have a budget for purchasing new books as well as the ability to share books with the other local community libraries.
We will have a shelf of books by local authors and arrange events with local authors too and have sections organised with links to local groups – eg the gardening section will promote the Gardening Club and the Pevensey & Westham Forest Garden. This will help people to connect their interests with what is happening locally. We will also make links with the local history societies and have relevant books and information available. We have already talked to the ex-library manager about what is popular in Pevensey and our new library management system will also help us to identify what book stock our members want.
We aim to continue to provide a good quality library service!
The new Hub for the Parish will offer many new services in addition to the library, which we hope will bring our community together, address inequality and disadvantage and help build a stronger, friendlier Pevensey.
We will provide one central point of reference to help residents of Pevensey get involved in their community and we will have information on local groups, events and activities, support services and volunteering opportunities. We will also arrange training and events at the library itself including lots more to engage children.
One of our first priorities will be to seek to make the site fully accessible to everyone with a wheelchair lift. If we get permission from the landlord we will research the best option for the site and apply for grant funding. We want this new project to be accessible to everyone in and around the Parish.
We want to create a new friendly, community focused space where everyone will be welcome to come in and chat over a cuppa!
If you want to get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our new website will be coming soon!