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Stowmarket: Library boss calls on community to form group

09:00 07 February 2013

 Staff at Stowmarket Library, Patricia Lawrence enquiry officer, Neil Brittain library volunteer, Ann Barton library assistant and Frances Law library manager

Staff at Stowmarket Library, Patricia Lawrence enquiry officer, Neil Brittain library volunteer, Ann Barton library assistant and Frances Law library manager

A LIBRARY is appealing for people to come forward to form a new group which will spearhead its future in the community at a time when it is facing cuts to its budget.

The manager of Stowmarket Library, Frances Law, wants to setup a committee which will fundraise and suggest uses for the facility.

Mrs Law, who has been manager of the library for more than 20 years, said the ‘Friends of Stowmarket’ group would aim to get more people using the library.

The campaign is being backed by the EADT’s sister title, the Stowmarket Mercury.

“Because of the cuts, Suffolk County Council will be giving us less money; we are all looking at how we can make up the shortfall,” Mrs Law said.

“National book lending has been on the decline for a number of years. A number of people go to Amazon and go to supermarkets. There’s a lot of people who do not go to the library in the same way they used to. We have to think of other things that would make people come in.

“We would like our Friends group to say what they would want to see in the library.

“We would listen to what they suggest and see how feasible it is and then decide if we need to raise funds to do it. It’s always good to get some new ideas.

“Our Friends may help us run a book sale, or some of them may want to get more involved and be part of the committee.

“We hope our newly formed Friends group will help us to provide the library that the community wants and together we can raise local awareness and funds.”

Last summer Suffolk Libraries Industrial and Provident Society was launched. Libraries were divested from Suffolk County Council and although they still receive funding, Mrs Law says her library needs to start fundraising.

On Saturday, the library will hold an open morning, where it will be showing people the type of activities it runs.

The event will run from 10am-noon and is part of National Library day.

On Thursday March 7, at 6.30pm, the library will hold its first Friends group meeting and will aim to form a committee.

The library, based in Church Walk, currently has a team of volunteers who go out and deliver books to people who are unable to make the journey.

On Sundays craft sessions are held in the library, with a book group on Friday organised for adults with learning difficulties.

For more information on the project and activities the library organises, phone 01449 613143.

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