Welcome to the July edition of Friends Matter
The months, weeks and days have affected us all, in one way or another as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Even now, as life slowly returns to normal our everyday lives are daily being influenced by the changes being announced of what we can do with regular updates from the government.
Brixham Library Reopens
The good news is that from Monday 6 July 2020, our library in Brixham will be reopening its doors. Whilst every attempt is being made to provide as good a service as possible, safety is at the top of the agenda for both library users and library staff. Thus, the library will open with reduced opening hours to enable the staff to have time to regularly clean and sanitise the library where it is appropriate to do so. At the time of writing the planned opening hours are as follows:
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 10.00 – 12.00 & 14.00 – 16.00 Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 10.00 – 12.00
You will be able to return your books by dropping them off in the entrance way before entering the library with a hand sanitising station available for your use. Directional guidance is in place on both floors and a one-way system will be in operation. Access to the first floor will be via the back stairs behind the lift, returning to the ground floor by the main stairs. As well as being able to borrow books again you will be able to book time on the computers and the photocopier will be available for use. Unfortunately, the Childrens Library will be closed, but the staff will be able to help you if books are required. It is hoped that the Childrens Library will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Finally, staff will be in the building to help where they can.
All library users are asked to respect the current social distancing rules (1 metre+ rule in distancing) and to keep physical handling of books to a minimum. Returned books will be isolated for 72 hours before being returned to the shelves.
During lockdown you may be interested to learn that none of the library staff were furloughed as they continued to work their normal hours. With a mixture of working from home and working in the library they have:
● Undertaken regular on-line Baby bounce & rhyme time sessions.
● Undertaken regular story times.
● Formatted activities for children and young people to do at home.
● Kept regular updates of events etc on social media – e.g. Facebook & Twitter.
● Kept in contact with older library members to help reduce the feeling of being home alone.
● Taken the opportunity to catch up with their training needs.
● Participated in meetings via Zoom.
I was saddened to learn that a minority of people in Torbay have criticised staff for libraries not being open during lockdown. However, whilst plans were in place for a reduced service to be put into operation, it was a government decision that libraries should close at the start of the pandemic and Libraries Unlimited had no alternative but to comply. With the library reopening on Monday 6 July, this will be a very new experience for all the library staff, so a heartfelt plea goes out to ask that we support, respect and show appreciation for their efforts in these difficult times.
It is hoped that other libraries in the Bay will benefit from Brixham’s experiences and will be able to open in the weeks to come.
Annual General Meeting
In the light of the pandemic and current restrictions on numbers that can gather together, our AGM this month has been deferred until a suitable date can be rearranged. We apologise for having to make this decision. The committee looked at alternative ways of holding such a meeting, e.g. our AGM in a Zoom format on-line but decided against it as many members don’t have access to such a facility.
Thus, you will find some summary reports completed by officers to bridge the gap which I hope you will find of interest and also as a reminder that the show does go on. My thanks to all who have submitted the following for your perusal.
Chairman’s Update Report
This last year, prior to the pandemic, has continued to see FoBL flourish with its many events and activities adding funds to the coffers. Thus, we were able to make a considerable financial contribution towards the refurbishment of the library which took place last autumn, putting new life into the building and making good those areas that were well worn and had a tired feeling. The results, I am sure you will all agree have made the building light and airy again with clean and modern lines. Once again, we have supported the library sponsoring prizes for last year’s summer reading challenge, materials for children’s events and activities as well the maintenance of the external defibrillator, amongst other things. Our monthly coffee mornings have been a huge success becoming a regular diary date for so many of you.
The committee meets regularly and I take this opportunity to thank both past and present members for their help, support and the work they put into making the group work so well.
Our thanks to all those who support us through their talks, supporting events and to the retail outlets who participate in our loyalty card scheme.
FoBL is a member of Brixham Chamber of Commerce. We were due to give a talk in their Spring programme but unfortunately this has been delayed due to the pandemic. The Chamber produces a street map of Brixham for the benefit of visitors to the town and I am pleased to report that the library will be prominently marked on the next edition of this map.
As part of the refurbishment, FoBL worked closely with Brixham Town Council and Libraries Unlimited to site BTC’s Information Point in the Library. Prior to lockdown a member of BTC staff also made themselves available to work in the library to assist with any enquiries.
I will of course be reporting more fully when our AGM takes place, hopefully later in the year but any queries can be forwarded to me for my attention.
Alasdair Anderson Chairman, FoBL
Due to the unique times we are currently living in there will be some slight changes to membership card arrangements this year.
Thank you everyone who has paid by direct debit, I have a record of your payments. Friends who pay by cash may still do so by putting their £5.00 payment in an envelope, clearly marked with your name and membership number from your existing card. Please also add any changes to your contact details. This envelope can be put in the library drop box.
For this year only, your existing card will remain valid provided your subscription has been paid! I will contact all our wonderful partners who offer discounts to ask them to recognise your card and continue to apply their benefits.
It is with sadness we can’t offer the planned social events to include the Friday coffee morning. Pleased be assured normal service will be resumed as soon as it is safe and sensible to do so.
Thank you for your patience Angie Robson
Membership Secretary, FoBL
Finally, in the interim period the committee members are as follows:
Chairman Alasdair Anderson
Secretary Eunice Dodd / Kim Jackson*
Treasurer Jo Gale
Membership Secretary Angie Robson
Events Co-ordinator Helen Kelly
Web Liaison Kim Jackson
Coffee Morning Liaison Eunice Dodd
Committee Member Hilary Bligh
*Eunice has indicated that she will be stepping down from the position of Secretary, a position she has held for three years now. We have all appreciated her hard work, enthusiasm and help and are pleased that she will continue on the committee in her liaison role relating to our regular coffee mornings. Thus, I am pleased to welcome Kim as she takes over the secretarial role from Eunice.
If anyone is interested in joining us on the committee, please do get in touch. Our meetings tend to be quarterly and I can honestly say having spent a lifetime in meetings of one sort or another, they are often great fun and very relaxing whilst at the same time work does get done. We would ideally like someone to organise our volunteers at future events, a role that is not arduous but lovely for someone who likes people and something that takes place intermittently.
Walking for Health
For those who enjoy our regular Monday morning walks, the latest advice from the Ramblers Association is that walking groups should be no larger than a group of six walkers. As it happens, small groups have been walking on a Monday anyway and what better way to be able to spend time enjoying our wonderful coastal path in the summer weather. However, our regular Monday programme is still on hold until further notice. For your information the advice continues to be:
● Limit your group size to a maximum of 6 people – 1 walk leader, plus 5 walkers.
● Follow the latest guidelines on physical distancing and hygiene.
● Take steps to assess and reduce the risks on group walks.
Something a bit different….
If you would like a personal challenge with a difference, then do follow the link below. We are all familiar with jigsaws but not necessarily jigsaws in a digital format. They require both eye and hand coordination and perhaps with a drink it may be challenging and more fun! Thanks to the Toronto Public Library Service for this link