Following the six open meetings which were held at The Guildhall Theatre last week, Derby City Council is encouraged by the level of engagement and commitment shown by the community and their support for local libraries.

Claire Davenport, Director of Leisure, Culture and Tourism at Derby City Council said,

“It is heartening to see so much support from key communities in our city and I look forward to continuing to work with and supporting those who are coming forward to deliver a sustainable library service. I’d like to thank people for the very interesting exchange of information and their valid contributions towards the valuable services in the city. We listened carefully and will be helping people to come together to make Community-Managed Libraries a success in Derby”.

Along with conveying important information about the Expression of Interest and application process for Community-Managed Libraries the meetings fulfilled their purpose of opening a dialogue between the Council and local communities. Of the 93 questions which were asked by the public during the sessions 89% were answered during the meetings and only 11% required further detail to be provided.

Frequently asked questions will soon be added to the In Derby website, and will be updated on an ongoing basis.

Meena Bharadwa from Locality also delivered a presentation at the sessions explaining what support is available to the public when considering involvement with a Community-Managed library. Locality is a national network who help people set up and run community owned and led organisations, their purpose is to help people work together to ensure their neighbourhoods thrive. Meena was able to share Locality’s experience with members of the public and offer her advice and guidance.

Along with the information shared at the meetings, participants were invited to provide their details on a Volunteer interest form which is also available on the InDerby website. They also had the opportunity to request to view a particular library they may be interested in getting involved with as a CML.

Community groups or organisations are invited to Register an Interest in running one or more of the ten CML libraries by midday Monday 9th October. They will then be supported to Submit an Application by midday Monday 4th December. Community meetings will also be held at the ten libraries before the application deadline and details of these will be made available on the In Derby website.

A further briefing session is due to take place on Friday 20th October 12.00 noon -2.00pm in the Joseph Wright Room at the Council House. This will allow anyone who was unable to attend the previous meetings to receive the information they require to consider submitting an application to help run Community-Managed Libraries in Derby.