Author Topic: SAVE STIRCHLEY LIBRARY  (Read 9467 times)

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Offline Mick Jones

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« on: January 05, 2017, 02:25:10 PM »
Public meeting to discuss the council’s proposals,
which include moving Library services into Stirchley Baths.
Saturday 7th January
10.30am Stirchley Community Church
(upstairs coffee lounge, lift available)

The council's consultation survey is online at the below link:
The supporting documents from the council detailing city-wide proposals, are available to view in Stirchley library, & on the above website. Consultation ends 27 January 2017.

Also Friends of Library of Birmingham have posted their news, and an excerpt says:

v) & vi) Selly Oak & Stirchley

The concern is that the area comprising Selly Oak, Selly Park  Stirchley, Cotteridge and Bournbrook will not have a proper library service. Selly Oak library is to be downgraded to Tier 3 in much reduced accommodation and with a very much smaller collection of books. At the same time, Stirchley Library, although formally designated at Tier 2, will be similarly downgraded by being moved into Stirchley Baths. Because this is a successful community centre there is insufficient space for a dedicated library area and so the books will be stored on trolleys and wheeled out in such space as is available during library areas.

When I visited, the SB manager outlined all the facilities & activities there which would be available to library users - but the latter already have access to them as they are next door to the existing Stirchley library. Some in the five areas will be able to drive to one of the four nearest Tier 1 libraries, but many others will be deprived (see the attached reports of the public consultation meetings). In addition, all Tier 3 libraries are vulnerable and have an uncertain future.  These proposals need to be reviewed.

Offline keslie

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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 03:03:50 PM »
Hello everyone (and thank you Mick for sharing the meeting info)

Just wanted to give an update about this morning's meeting.

Thanks to those who came along. It was short notice and not advertised widely and a Saturday morning - but still roughly *50* of you came out in support of the Library. We'd have struggled had it been any bigger - thanks for your patience!

As you may know already, the meeting was called by a number of concerned residents who want to discuss with other residents and community groups what we can do to help save Stirchley Library.

Residents we have spoken to see it as a last case scenario for the services to move into Stirchley Baths - which is the current Tier 2 proposal put forward by Birmingham City Council.

This is where your answers on the consultation are vital Q17 in particular:
"Library services do not have to be delivered from the current library building if a better property solution exists". We strongly disagree with this. Obviously some provision is better than no provision, but whilst the current provision exists we want to fight to keep it in place & improve the existing facilities not get rid of them! The current proposal is for some or all of Stirchley 's provision to move to the baths, we feel that both services complement each other & can do better, but under two roofs not one! We don't want diluted versions of either if there are other options. Please share your views.

I wrote a few pages of minutes from the meeting but for the sake of urgency and brevity(ish) here are the action points.

• First and foremost - fill in the form if not done already!
• Email longer comments to
• If you could, please also share long form answers here in the Stirchley Forum so we can all see each others views, for the sake of community-openness and helping one another fill the form out. (This will also hopefully help other community groups city wide in the way of information sharing.)
• KL to make available the poster - which dates deadline and link - which residents can download and print and put in their windows if they wish - in order to help visually raise awareness
• TS to email directorate with questions that arose from meeting which we cannot answer (such as footfall / details of proposal from Stirchley Baths / cost of repairs and so forth)
• All to tweet support of #StirchleyLibrary if twitter users and encourage sharing of the consultation document (
• Join the facebook group if facebook users
• Parents with children in schools in the area to ask if the consultation form can be circulated through schools newsletters (in particular to mention the great facility of Stirchley Childrens Library)

The council's consultation survey ends on 27th January (although as pointed out in the meeting, there is one occasion in the survey where it says 23rd January - so perhaps don't leave it to the last minute!)

If I've missed anything I'll comment again here...

Next meeting is after the consultation deadline:
Saturday 11th February 10.30am Stirchley Community Church
Lift available, childrens' play area too.

Offline keslie

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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 03:39:45 PM »

Offline TSummerfield

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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 10:57:40 AM »
For information...this is an email that I sent this morning to the Directors of Birmingham Community Library Services. Theresa.

***original message***

I am writing on behalf of a group that has recently been established to save Stirchley library from closure. We call ourselves 'Save Stirchley Library' and if successful in our endeavours we would like to form a 'Friends of Stirchley Library' group.

We are local residents who are passionate about Stirchley Library. Libraries are not just about books, information and resources; the library is a freely available, safe space in the community where everyone has a warm welcome. Indeed many of the group members met and became friends through meeting at Stirchley Library's weekly story tots sessions. We are aware that much data has been collected and interpreted in putting the consultation document together, we understand that this data refers to borrowing and IT services. Since Stirchley Library does not have access control there is no way of counting visitor statistics and actual usage. It is important to mention that many people use the Library without using any IT facilities or borrowing books. Library users pop in to the Library to read books; staying for an hour or more. Users enjoy browsing through material; they pick up leaflets regarding events and activities within the community; they talk to one other.

We feel that closing the Library would be devastating for the community who value the building, its services, staff and everything they have to offer. Stirchley Library and Stirchley Baths are both grade 2 listed buildings, Stirchley Baths was derelict for 30 years and we don't want the same to happen to Stirchley Library. Both buildings are fantastic spaces and both services complement each other. We disagree with the proposal to move the service into the Baths for many reasons...the consultation document does not make it clear how this would work; whether all or some of the collections will move, whether items will be available permanently or on request. Most of the offices at Stirchley Baths are currently being occupied by council staff - so it isn't possible to use their space for library services. This was not the intention of the original Heritage Lottery Funding bid, but nevertheless this has happened. We have many more questions regarding this. But ultimately we do not feel that this would be a workable solution for the library service.

Stirchley Library is currently the only free community space locally where lots of children, young people and adults read, do their homework, study and undertake research. Stirchley Library has a warm, quiet environment; factors that are important for study, this environment is highly valued, well used and could not be replicated elsewhere. Stirchley Baths does not have the same warmth and peacefulness and does not lend itself to quiet study and research.

Young children enjoy sitting and colouring whilst in the childrens section, as well as reading. They will run their tiny fingers along the shelves and enjoy pulling lots of books down and playing with them before settling down for a good story or some nursery rhymes. The space in the childrens library has soft, colourful  stools and mats, making the environment warm and welcoming. The childrens collection is separate from the adult collection; enabling them to make a little noise without disturbing other users. The childrens library makes learning fun and offers a sensory experience for young children, which is valued and could not be replicated in Stirchley Baths.

We recently held a meeting to discuss our views; the meeting was attended by approximately 50 people and all ages were represented at the meeting. The meeting was arranged very quickly, at the last minute and not well advertised, so the turnout was good. There is wider support from people within the community who were either unable to attend the meeting or did not know about it. We have also set up a 'Save Stirchley Library' facebook group, which currently has 100 members. We are running a poster campaign and lots of members are tweeting about the campaign to Save Stirchley Library. All age groups are represented and membership continues to grow as word spreads about the proposals. I myself used to work at the University of Birmingham Library and have experience of working with collections of online and physical resources. Likewise, many group members have valuable skills and experiences, which can be harnessed in providing new and exciting services for Stirchley Library.

The Library building is currently owned by Birmingham City Council and therefore we feel that the council should be responsible for the maintenance and running of the Library building. Whilst not happy about it, we accept that the decision has been made regarding the budget cut. We would welcome the opportunity to keep the Library building open by enhancing the existing services. Once the necessary repairs have been made to the Library building, it will have much more scope, with the possibility of renting the downstairs storeroom (if heated) and the upstairs space to other community groups and users, thus generating income. We have plenty of ideas, which need fleshing out, but if agreeable, we can submit an official proposal. We are happy to volunteer time and resources, even to undertake fund raising if this means we can keep the Library building open. Rather than reduce the opening hours we would like the opening hours to increase and we would be willing to volunteer time to make this happen, but the Library building would need a self service kiosk in order for this to happen, Stirchley Library is not listed in the consultation document as benefiting from one. Could this be something to consider?

I think it is easier to summarise our questions in bullet point:

1) How do we find out about the outcomes of the consultation?

2) The Library building was given to the residents of Stirchley by Carnegie to help people to help themselves. How does closing the Library building and moving the service to Stirchley Baths fulfill this requirement / philosophy?

3) Carnegie gave the Library building to Stirchley community to be used as a library. With this in mind, all options to keep the Library open should be explored before any decision is made to close the building. Is there any evidence available that you have done this?

4) What is the annual cost of running Stirchley Library? We see that in 2015 the budget was £130, 283 but you actually spent £134, 939.

5) How much money is needed to make the necessary repairs to the building?

6) Do you have any evidence to suggest that closing the library building and moving the service to Stirchley Baths will save the council money? At the moment the council own the building, and are therefore not paying rent, business rates, service charges or other additional costs other than staff wages and building maintenance.

7) Have you calculated how much it would cost to move Stirchley Library from the existing building to Stirchley Baths?

8) Have you measured the size of the space in Stirchley Library and compared it with the size of the space available in the Baths?

9) Where will books be stored if the move goes ahead?

10) Will Library users have the same access & borrowing rights?

11) Library services are currently free, if the Library service moves into the Baths would this incur additional charges?

12) We see nowhere in the document that mentions browsing...the benefits of browsing should not be underestimated; will this be possible if the move goes ahead?

13) Stirchley Baths was built with a £3.3m Heritage Lottery Fund and £700k from the sale of council buildings to Tesco. There is no where in the Heritage Lottery Funding application which mentions provision of Library Services. Won't the council be in breach of this funding bid if the Library move goes ahead?

We would be happy to meet up and discuss this further with yourselves.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards, Theresa Summerfield

We would be happy to meet up and discuss this further with yourselves.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards, Theresa Summerfield

Offline keslie

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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2017, 03:04:09 PM »
Notes on Stirchley Library's listing status on Historic England's website:

I'm not sure why you couldn't install stand alone self scanners like they had in central library because they wouldn't impact on the fabric of the building.
Other than the obvious - cost.

I wonder how much it will cost to move the services into Stirchley Baths / how much money Stirchley Baths will receive to run these services - and how this outweighs keeping the services where they are / seeking alternatives to raise funds to support and improve them.

Offline Phil Banting

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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 05:57:25 PM »
This is from an email I've sent to the consultation address

I am a volunteer at the Baths and know the building extremely well as I have given many tours to visitors as well as having used its many excellent facilities. I can see no way of fitting anything more than the most minimal library service into the building, and that would be at the cost of existing facilities which provide value to the community as well as earning revenue. In addition, simply abandoning the library building would leave it as a liability for present and future generations.

I would like to urge that every possibility be explored of restoring the existing library building and bringing the currently disused upper floor into use. Stirchley is not short of creative - and determined - minds capable of building partnerships and involving the wider community to generate funding. A fully functioning library and Baths - maybe combined under single management - would have considerable critical mass as a community hub and be able to offer an enhanced range of services as well as earn additional revenue.

Offline keslie

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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 12:21:49 AM »
The council are open to hearing our ideas. At a couple of meetings the idea of an Impact Hub has come up. Here's a bit of a brain splurge with more info on how that could work. Needs fleshing out, but it's a start:

The Stirchley community create or replicate a similar business model of an Impact Hub, which is a global network of co-working spaces and business "incubators".

I envisage the 'Impact Hub Stirchley' (for want of a better name - as might not be an Impact Hub) to rent out / manage the renting of desks / work areas in the two disused spaces in the Library building, enabling the library services to remain in their current setting.

I'd encourage those interested in hearing more about the Impact Hub model to take a look at the Impact Hub Birmingham's website, and I'd particularly like to draw attention to Amy Martin's Radical Childcare work which is based at Birmingham's city centre Impact Hub. I think her model of practice would work well in Stirchley Library given the childrens' groups / library provision already which the community don't want to lose.

The umbrella brand of an Impact Hub is a realistic income generating stream for the Stirchley Library building, and from what I've researched, whether Impact Hub or not, it is a relatively simple business model already in existence across Birmingham - there's the Moseley Exchange, Boxxed in Digbeth and of course the Bournville Community Hub for similar examples. Stirchley already has Ingot Studios which is an artists' maker space - and a number of co-operatives on the high street, and an Impact Hub Stirchley would be supporting this growing entrepreneurial infrastructure. I have worked from Birmingham Open Media (BOM) for 18 months, and that follows a coworking style and financially supports its stream of activity through renting out disused/under-used spaces in the way of a photography studio and restaurant. The only difference is the desk renters would be renting from the council rather than a private landlord.

There was supposed to be hireable/co-working spaces in Stirchley Baths but as far as I am aware those are now mostly council offices / occupied by council workers.

The main and 'goes without saying' problems with this idea, are firstly the need to fundraise for repairs so the disused spaces are habitable and secure - and secondly, funding for someone / a team of people to manage this sort of project. Neither of which aren't unachievable.

There are also other issues such as uncertainty with the councils' longer term plans with the building / services. However if a strong business plan, team behind it and general support was in place there's no reason as to why this can't work.

Finally, I think Stirchley Baths need to work WITH Stirchley Library (both services and the building) with their programme of activity, rather than ultimately reducing and then eradicating it.

Offline keslie

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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2017, 12:35:17 AM »
Also - Theresa shared this on the facebook group earlier:

Below is a copy of the reply I received from BCC on 18th January 2017.
We have booked Stirchley Community Church for a meeting on Saturday 11th February 10.30 am, this will be some sort of brainstorming type session on a proposal for BCC & how we can work together, ideally within the existing library building... We will try and make some refreshments available; donations gratefully received. Please do tell everyone about the meeting; I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the meeting.
Also...I have set up an email list; let me know if you want to be added.
***original message***
Dear Theresa
Thank you for your email dated January 11th 2017. It is always heartening to hear how valued the community library service is around the city and in this case within the Stirchley Community. We are obviously in a consultation stage at present and will need to form our final views in the coming weeks. I wanted, however to stress that the community library service is positive about working in partnership with local groups and partner organisations and there is a growing number of organisation working together on this basis around the city. We would welcome any proposal that you have and once received either myself, Liz or Sarah will be more than happy to engage further with you about the range of ideas that you have about supporting the library service in Stirchley.
Moving on to the specific points raise in your letter;
Stirchley Library undertakes an annual visitor count that is used to capture the footfall to the building this count takes place annually in October.
As you are aware there is a current citywide consultation which concludes on the 27th January. From this a report will be presented to BCC cabinet in February if the report is accepted by the council the proposals will be implemented in the financial year 2017/18. The results of the consultation will be published on the council consultation website
As part of the consultation there is a proposal around moving the Library service into Stirchley Baths. This would enable the council to rationalise its assets whilst still providing library services, in this case jointly with the community centre. The results of the consultation survey will be analysed before any decision is taken by cabinet.
Your comments about the gifting of the building and any covenants attached are noted. As part of the consultation we are obviously exploring what the alternative options to closure might be and your comments about wanting to work in ways to support the library are obviously helpful in this regard and will be factored into the thinking around the shape of the future model.
The budget for running Stirchley Library in 2015/16 was £134,939 which was an overspend of £4656. The Library was assessed as a 4 in the condition assessment which indicates that investment is required in the building. Outstanding repairs and maintenance issues include:
Boiler replacement is in the region of £60k
Roof repairs, guttering and windows unknown – but likely to be in the region of £50 – 100k – depending on scaffolding etc.
There is also a ceiling that needs to be repaired – which is in an upstairs office.
The council owns both the library and the baths site. Moving into the baths site would save money as the business rates etc would be reduced. However the significant saving is more in avoided costs – Stirchley library already needs money spent on repairs and will need more in the future. This is not the case with the Baths site.
We have not yet costed the move/reconfiguration of the Baths site – although a budget is set aside for the reconfiguration needed at sites where changes are needed as part of the city wide proposals.
We are looking at the design proposals as to the detail of the library services that can be provided from the Baths site, including where the books, IT etc will be placed.
The borrowing rights for Library material would remain the same and in line with the rest of the city. This is detailed in the Public Libraries and Museum Act 1964 , which states the Local Authority must lend books and other printed material free of charge for those who live, work or study in the area (section 8 (3)(b)). The proposal would not replicate the current provision at Stirchley Library but focus on elements of the service.
The view currently held is that providing community library services within the Baths site will not place us in breach of any agreements with the Heritage Lottery Fund.
We are currently looking at how we can best support communities that wish to establish friends groups to support their libraries, and I will add your details to our contacts list.
Yours sincerely
Chris Jordan
Chris Jordan
Assistant Director
Neighbourhoods & Communities Division
Place Directorate

Offline Brain80

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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2017, 06:00:01 PM »
Hi kerry

The terms and conditions for heritage lottery grants might be worth a read :

Approved Use is interesting - will depend how defined it was in their offer letter. I would be surprised if HLF would be agreeable to use as a library given lottery funding shouldn't be used to cover statutory provision - however these days what is statutory and what isn't has become a widening grey area !

Anyway, from the response it doesn't sound as though BCC have held any discussions about this prospect ofoving library services into the baths - my advice would be to forward the response to hLf to bring it to their attention. As I say maybe that they are fine with it all depends on how flexible they are . I wonder also whether worth flagging to HLF just how much of the building seems to be occupied by council workers - was that the intention? Extremely disappointed personally to see lottery funds being use due to support councils budgets in this way, although I guess if we complain too
Much and put a stop to such use it will be our council tax going up instead!

Best of luck with it all..


Offline keslie

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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2017, 09:12:51 PM »

Great email from Martin at Friends of Library of Birmingham earlier this evening - for those who aren't signed up to their mailing list, I've added it here:

The document in question is here:

It's LONG. I suggest you do a search in the document for every mention of 'Stirchley' or whichever library you want to look up. 78 mentions of Stirchley!

In short: Working in partnership with the local community to ensure the sustainability of continuing to deliver library services from the current site at Stirchley as well as seeking to work more closely with the adjacent Stirchley Baths

Offline Mick Jones

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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2017, 08:49:21 AM »
Here are the minutes from Saturdays meeting, with thanks to Kerry for typing them.
Feel free to circulate and please reply with any further comments / questions.

Date of next meeting: 11th March, 10.30am, Stirchley Community Church

Meeting called by Save Stirchley Library
Sign in sheet. 40 people (few late comers not sure if they signed in)
Cllr Ian Ward / Cllr Mary Locke
Notes by Kerry – please email me if you have any corrections

Theresa – thanks everyone to coming.  Minutes have been circulated, if anyone has any comments to let us know. We have a woolly proposal to take things forward, we need to start planning for the next 12 months, and then think beyond that. Myself, Laura and Sandra met with Liz Parkes, we had a good chat and she talked about the report for the recommendation for the council and the suggestion is the building will stay open for 12 months, there is the worry after the 12 months, we are concerned about the maintenance repairs cost and if the council will pay. She was supportive of our suggestion to set up a Friends of Stirchley Library group. Nothing is set in stone. We can’t do it without the support of the community. Assuming that we want to keep the library open in the library building, not Stirchley Baths

Ian Ward –deputy leader of Birmingham City Council. Responsible for operating model of library services. Happy to be here today – before what is agreed on Tuesday at cabinet.

Theresa – gave a quick overview to Ian. We haven’t met formally with library staff but have met informally, we aren’t sure what we can / can’t do.

Ian – there’s a report heading to cabinet on Tuesday, you can all get access to it, BCC went out to consultation which would have seen 2 of those close, I was always determined we would tweak those – pleased to be able to do that. Only 1 of the community libraries that will close going forward, Kent Moat in Stetchford – it was going to be closed anyway as part of a housing development. Those resources will move to Glebe Farm. Glebe Farm will move up from a 4 to a 2/3 (same as Stirchley) – for 21 hours a week. 36 of 37 libraries will remain open. Community libraries will be open less hours than they currently are. There is the hope community groups and third sector organisations will help libraries and play a role going forward. We hope that impetus will continue, and we will see the opportunity to enhance opening hours, into the future. There will be a BCC meeting in the future to discuss libraries in the future. A lot of other pressures in the council: social services, elderly services / strain to system nationally. Resources being moved into those services because of the crisis. Across country many libraries are closing so we are pleased with the outcome of the Birmingham proposals. From the budget proposals – 28th Feb. £37m additional has been put into social care because of those pressures. 2 things haven’t changed – still going to increase the book fund (more books  / resources available) another £50k for repairs, still going to invest £800k in self service technology. Things that have changed: introducing a charge to book reservations, have found a way of mitigating that – suspended charge, trying to make a letting arrangement in Sutton Coldfield. Subject of most feedback has changed: Sutton Coldfield, they have been lobbying hard against the closure of Sutton Coldfield Library. STC committed to funds to keep their library open – at least until August. They are trying to let other space within the building. Tentatively agreed, if you can let this space, will put in fee of Tier 1 library and town council will have to pay the gap. If town council can’t find the gap then unfortunately the library will close. Another change - Aston Library will remain open as a tier 3 site. Now – Stirchley! Proposals was to move services into former Baths. Now proposing to keep Stirchley Library open, and to utilise the services of the Baths for additional IT support.

Theresa – can we ask you about the new tier 2/3? Hours reduced from 25 hours to 21.

Ian – We need to work with the community here to make that sustainable for the future. The ‘Friends’ proposition is helpful. Has to deliver what a Tier 2 would, but less hours – involvement with community. Definitely 21 hours with Library staff, and to make that sustainable going forward support f rom ‘Friends of Library’ group.

Theresa – by us stepping in, are we putting library staff jobs at risk?

Ian – not at all, through the changes we can sustain 99 full time jobs – have saved 11. The friends group will not mean any of those lose their jobs.

Theresa – can we ask you specific questions.

Ian – yes if I can answer them.

Martin Sullivan – FoLoB – Stirchley Library / Baths is a strange proposal, we find the proposal worrying. Tier 3 is moving out of the public sector as relying on others – Tier 2 is more sustainable. If raising funds for maintenance need a say on how this is spent – if you raise funds, the repairs work put out to tender (acivico). Need to watch on this – if Tier 3 / 4 volunteers fail – it will fold. What is the gap in funds for a Tier 1.

Ian - The cost to continue operating Sutton Coldfield £135,000 a year gap funding the town council will need to come up with. If we keep that library open then the funds from other libraries is taken. The process is being looked at to ensure acivico costs are competitive. Perhaps cost weighting should have had a higher factor in the consultation. 2 libraries had an equal scoring – top of tier 3 stirchley library, which has led to the new creation of the tier 2/3. Keeps hours to 21 hours. Some of the work volunteers will be doing in stirchley library would have previously been done by stirchley staff, which is inevitable. We are not expecting volunteers to do everything. Not an advocate of jobs being replaced by volunteers, that doesn’t work and isn’t sustainable. It’s not a model for the future working 5 days a week and then volunteering every Saturday. If some people are willing to do a couple of hours, stack shelves / take books back, it serves to keep library open then it is a compromise willing to make. In order to sustain 21 hours, volunteers will need to do some of those tasks.

Question – human touch needed / real staff. Verbal conversation valued when taking books back.

Ian – agreed, libraries more than issuing books, access to knowledge and learning. Engaging with people coming into the building, what they are in the library to do, helping people navigate the services and the internet, not everyone is internet savvy.

Sandra – volunteering aspect. What arrangements are being made to manage the volunteers. Library staff may not be able to do this properly.

Ian – we are going to have to training library staff. There are already friends of libraries groups

Sandra-  they aren’t doing what you’re suggesting

Ian- you may have read a number of libraries will be doing benefits forms, etc – going forward library staff becoming multi skilled and taking on some of these roles themselves. Even now library staff aren’t doing what they would have done many years ago, services have changed. It’s still information sharing

Sandra – nothing for training of library staff in the consultation

Ian – training of staff for new roles needed – something for me to take away.  Next point - there is an issue here with maintenance. Friend’s role can help in a way to fundraise / bridge funding gap.

Jessie – if community raised funds need guarantee it will stay open.

Ian – Council will work with any friends group to make this happen.

Theresa – new boiler / roof repairs need carrying out. There are two spaces that could be fixed and then rented out for generating ongoing income.

Tony – Friends of Cannon Hill Park - sustainability question. The library is valued by the Stirchley community.  Tony has friends in library services nervous about their jobs. Roof space, is a health and safety hazard New library of Birmingham – Ian quoted George Dawson as a Birmingham civic activist, our histories are all contained within our libraries. Reference, people who go into library to find out about information / opportunities. That can be carried on – things that have leaked into the Baths, within main library of Birmingham are 10 booths set up by British Film archive. Digital archive / digital age – continued access of those. BFI license. Opportunities are immense.

Theresa – at some point we will be asking for ideas

Mary – anything as a friends group I will be there to support it. Not just because councillor for the area. Social care mentioned – promote library services out of home. For people with dementia.

Amy – Sum of £50k council have put on top – what’s that going to be used for?

Ian - £150k is the cost of the boiler repairs <correction to this in editing of minutes – clarification, this figure is what is in the repairs and maintenance budget, we need to work out the cost of boiler etc. >There are funds available for repairs and maintenance. Will get back to you with the detail. Back to previous comments - as result of the process,Aiming for a city wide library service. Second thing, designate a senior city councillor as city chief of  libraries. so that libraries have a voice. Not going to close Stirchley Library. Room full of people in support of Stirchley Library here as we can see. Two things that upset people the most is library closures and park closures. Not paying lip services. Reacted to the consultation. Important to be saying something different to what we set out to do.  Great example here in the community of change – Stirchley Baths. Building refurbished and saved. That is what can happen if community can get together. Finish on George Dawson comment – went to a meeting to talk about libraries, chap from Birmingham University who spoke about George Dawson, sat there learning and listening, he’s responsible for creating library services in Birmingham - for a library service to work it has to be free.  Book charge steps over that line. Any book in the collection should be free without a fee, so particularly pleased we have managed to remove that proposition in the consultation. Euan (name?)– is going to make a project about George Dawson for library services in Birmingham. Can learn about George Dawson and Shakespeare.

Bob – FoLoB- how secure / reliable is the proposal. Whole of council being reelected next year. Speculating – this is a stop gap.We could be here again in 12 months time?

Ian – Good question. Intention is to reduce funding going forward. In business rates pilot – move to a system from 1st April, BCC receives all rates from 1st in future. Won’t get any gov grant. Guarantee it won’t make city council worse of than it would have been. Increasing pressure going forward on all services. No plans to further reduce budget for library services. But in the Autumn Budget 2018 – may be looking very hard at these subjects again. If it was in my gift I would say no further cuts.

Comment – worried about volunteers stacking shelves / staff to be multi skilled  / running benefits services/ repairs and fundraising, council did pay for KH asbestos being removed. Stirchley Library needs new roof and also needs to be warm. Supportive of Children’s library. Encouraged, don’t want to see us back here in a year or two years. Don’t want to say ‘gave you an opportunity – and you failed’ real effort on part of city council to make this viable. Includes funding staffing training recruiting and managing of volunteers.

Ian - benefits services only in 4 libraries. What I do know is there have been budget reductions every year since 2010. Not sure when that will end. Council forecast will be reducing by £760m by 2020/21. In a corner when having to deal with budget reductions of that scale. Want to keep as many libraries open as we can. Increasingly having to work with volunteers and third sector organisations;  working with the Baths as part of Tier 2/3.

Comment – aware Baths will be involved. It is about income generation. Library is free public service, need opportunity to fundraise to keep that open. Don’t want to be told ‘the baths are doing that so you can’t’.

Ian – There was a comment at the consultation at the Baths (by Jessie) that there’s no space for books in the Baths. Not reasonable to ask residents to raise the whole sum.

Jessie – 12 months isn’t long if we want to get repairs. What’s at the end of the 12 months?

Ian - If we can get the right friends group, have staffing, work together, unless something catastrophic happens, I personally will come back to you to find out what the city council needs to do. Small sums in comparison.

Mary – Are there funding pots that can be applied to?

Ian – yes there are.

Jessie – with it being to fix a council building – we can’t apply for some pots of funding.

Ian – yes some funds you won’t be able to apply for which is perverse in my personal opinion.

Laura – Why IT support extra in the Baths – should be in the library.

Ian – if they did that, duplicates

Jessie – if put things on at the Baths, people will go but they would have gone into the library

Ian – some services move into Baths will free up library staff. Better off speaking to Liz about this about how that will operate.

Comment – bogged down in details. Let’s us get on and move!

Jessie – help to set up the friends greatly appreciated

Theresa – have never had a Friends of Stirchley library. Will take awhile to get established and find out feet. Liz Parkes will have her ideas, we have our own, we need to make sure they align. We are going to meet up after the council meeting next week. If everyone is happy, we have started to put together a survey to ask what your own ideas are for the friends group / volunteering / any support you are able to give; time or financial, between us we might have a really good balance. Diverse group. Reiterate we want to work with Stirchley Baths; we don’t want to be exclusive, we want to be inclusive and work with the whole of the community. In the first instance we are deciding who we are and what we are doing – maybe monthly meetings.

Show of hands – monthly meetings – most raised.

Liz Clements – maybe Folob could help set it up, with constitutions. Meet with other fol groups. Library activities in the library. Complementary services.

Bob – Folibrariesofb – lots of contacts, Sutton west heath, Glebe, concerned about services as a whole. Meeting on Monday 5.30pm libraries as a whole.  Mclaren bulding 19th floor, Dale End, Priory Queensway.

Mary – Thanks Ian for coming along. Lots of questions. Sometimes not answers because you don’t have the information. Could you please give commitment to come back in six months, finding answers to those questions in the near future?  An opportunity if we are going into difficulty will you help?

Ian – Bournville Community Hub have offered to do library services – additional library outlet. If we get this right we ought to have a solution here.

Comments – not quite sure what the Bournville Community Hub are proposing
- action – get in touch with Sarah at BCH

Theresa – can I email specific questions about costs.

Ian – any questions at all please email those.

Amy – we don’t have experience of that but this relationship with the council is key. We need to clarify how we are going to work with the council and the mutual expectations.

Ian – Liz will be your key contact. Knows where we are going with this – has been on visits across the country on how this model works elsewhere. I will come along to make sure it works.

Theresa – thanks for coming Ian, we feel reassured

Tony - Place Prospectors tomorrow in Stirchley Park – info on twitter, hopefully not rained off.

Next meeting is booked for 11th March. Saturday morning 10.30am.
Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum is Mon 13th Feb 7.30 Stirchley Comm. Church.
Friends of L of Bham mt as above, Mon 13th 5.30 mcLaren building 19th floor.

Monday 5.30pm libraries as a whole.  Mclaren building 19th floor, Dale End, Priory Queensway.

Offline keslie

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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2017, 10:06:24 PM »
There's a public meeting on Saturday by 'Save Stirchley Library' campaigners.
10.30am Stirchley Community Church, upstairs, lift available. We'll bring teas and coffees etc.
We have been given the room for free kindly by Stirchley Community Church and they're taking donations for room hire.

To discuss the latest on the campaign, the setting up of a Friends of Stirchley Library group (see 2.), next steps, possibly Tesco 106 monies to be discussed, AOB.

The Save Stirchley Library group are forming a Friends of Stirchley Library.
This might sound like a duplication of workload but it is necessary to keep the two separate - as a 'Friends of' is apolitical. Both will exist alongside each other. In order to make a 'Friends of' a success we need to know that there is support for such a group, and if so, how we can support the library. There's a survey, we're hoping the results will help to give us a clearer picture of the different types of support available e.g. time, skills and resources.

The new opening hours have been announced.
I've tried to attach a photo here, hopefully it works. If not - they are as follows:
Tuesday 9-1, 2-5
Wednesday CLOSED
Thursday 10-1 2-6
Saturday 9-1, 2-5

Think that covers everything for now...

Offline Mick Jones

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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2017, 10:40:29 AM »
Save Stirchley Library have formed a new group and require your support.

Stirchley Library was recently under threat of
In response to Birmingham City Council
library proposals, the Stirchley community
campaigned to keep library services in the
library building. The council have agreed to
keep the library open until April 2018, with the
support of volunteers in the form of a Friends of
Stirchley Library (FOSL) group.

We want to keep our library open • for longer
hours and beyond 2018!
From 3 April, Stirchley
Library opening hours will be reduced from 25
to 21 hours. FOSL volunteers can help meet
some of this shortfall, but we need your help

The library needs a new boiler and roof repairs.
This is all very costly. FOSL need help with
fundraising, organising events and activities,
publicity, applying for grants etc. If you have
time to spare, skills to share or have an area of
expertise that you think can support our cause,
please join the Friends of Stirchley Library.

More information on our blog: