A Sutton Coldfield community group is delighted at the response to a request for volunteers to help organise the town’s library ahead of building work.
Friends of Libraries in our Sutton Coldfield (FOLIO) said that almost 50 local residents offered their time over the next two weeks. FOLIO Chair Zoe Toft said:
“I’m really inspired. It feels like if you offer people the opportunity to help, they really want to! And that’s a really optimistic outlook to have.”
The group, a registered charity, is comprised entirely of volunteers and aims to “support a professionally staffed library service”.
A pretty astonishing day with a tip-top team of volunteers working alongside the lovely librarians in @SuttonLibrary. Amazing what you can achieve with a bit of enthusiasm and dedication! Hopefully we’ll have some photos to share with you tomorrow.
— FOLIO SuttonColdfied (@FOLIOsutcol) January 15, 2018
Birmingham City Council is funding the refurbishment, while FOLIO is funding the installation of a children’s play area and cafe.
The installation of the play area comes after the charity received several requests for a ‘community area’ within the library.
“The play area and cafe will be self-sustaining. It will generate rental income for Birmingham City Council, as well part-funding the library and FOLIO. We can then use that money to support the library and arrange events and activities to make it a more enjoyable space.”
The community activism has been recognised by both Birmingham City Council and Sutton Town Council for the group being driven from grass-roots with commitment and passion to save the library.
“This group coalesced after myself and like-minded others decided that we wanted to ‘be the change you want to see’.”
The renovation project will take 60 days, with the library being closed during this time. Zoe Toft was conscious of the length of time that it was closed, which prompted the call for volunteers.
People have given up their time to help librarians with packing up boxes of books, CD’s and DVD’s. In fact, they’ve made light work of it.
“The work that we thought would take two weeks was actually pretty much done after one day!”