Friday, 20 September 2013

Love Your Library Day – was a great success

Despite the somewhat inclement weather, a warm welcome was waiting at Molesey Library where the Friends had organised a Love Your Library Day with the help of Jo Ryan and her team.

The idea was to continue to raise awareness about the library and services on offer and to recruit more volunteers to help run a range of activities that go beyond the remit of the staff and will attract more people from our local community. For example, we hope to run a regular coffee morning every Friday starting on 1st November and to give visitors an idea of how this would work, a selection of delicious cakes, tea, coffee and herbal drinks were on offer during the morning.

A focal point of the day was the arrival of the MP, Dominic Raab and the Deputy Mayor of Elmbridge, Mr. Barry Fairbank (pictured above with Pauline from the Friends) and his wife who arrived to dedicate a newly installed picture hanging system. This was funded by a generous grant from the RC Sherriff Trust and has enabled the Friends to make a link with the local Molesey Art Society as we now have an excellent display space available in the village. Various members of the Society provided an exhibition of a super selection of works for sale which we hope will be the first of many and is being much admired by library users.

The award ceremony for the nationwide Creepy House Reading Challenge for children was the main focus during the afternoon. This proved very popular with numbers up about 60% from last year. Library staff were supported by two volunteers this year. The children commit to reading a number of books, are awarded stickers to encourage them to reach their first and second targets and, if the challenge is completed, are awarded a certificate and medal. One of the library team, James, presented the awards and the session started with a reading of Molesey’s own Creepy House Story – a tale compiled over the summer by children when they visited to change their books. It proved a fun start to proceedings with both parents and children giggling as the tale twisted along somewhat randomly from start to finish!

At the end of the afternoon, it was a pleasure to see the children leaving the library proudly clutching their well-deserved awards.

The Friends were delighted that some local businesses were able to offer us support. In particular, we are very grateful to the Graphic Metal Company for donating a stunning plaque marking picture hanging and dedication by Dominic Raab, the Card Collection for a specially personalised helium balloon and finally Lily Blossom for donating a plant to help decorate the library.

The quest for volunteers continues. If you feel you can spare some time to help, please either contact the Friends via the website or call into the library and speak to Jo or one of the team.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

A summer update from Pauline

HELLO and welcome to the Friends of Molesey Library website. I am Pauline Morozgalska, chairman of the Friends committee.

‘Just about two years ago, our local library was under threat of closure and the possibility of being re-opened and run by volunteers.

Thanks to excellent opposition by local people the decision was reversed and the library remains open and staffed by a professional team. A major factor in the original proposal from Surrey County Council was the fact the library was under-used by Molesey residents and for a while this improved.

However, when comparing figures with one year ago, the number of people actually taking out books has fallen quite dramatically and this is a concern especially as SCC are monitoring the situation closely.

The Friends are working hard with Molesey Library Manager Joanne Ryan and her team to ensure that the library is a welcome place for everyone and to keep the profile high in the area. The library has run a number of very successful weekly events such as Rhymetime, Storytime and a basic computer course.

There are other events that are possible. What is needed is extra help – we need VOLUNTEERS urgently so if you have a little time to spare please go and talk to Jo see the article below for more information.

The selection of books available is marvellous and if what you want is not on the shelves, staff might be able to order it in. If you are a fan of ebooks, those too have been available for a while. At a time when the majority of people are finding that money does not seem to go so far, the library is a free service – so please visit as soon as possible and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

We are planning a ‘Love Your Library Day’ on 14th September, so put a note in your diary to drop in, have some refreshments, get to meet the library team, the Friends Committee, maybe volunteer and enjoy being part of our local community.


Graduate James swaps science lab for library

MOLESEY Library has bolstered its brain power by hiring a physics graduate as assistant manager!

James Goldsmith, who is 24 and from Thames Ditton, joined the team in January after graduating from Sussex University.

He has been helping to engage younger readers and build relationships with schools in Molesey.

James said: “Whilst at university I got very involved in the outreach side and going into schools to show children how things worked. I realised that I enjoyed this side much more and my role at Molesey Library is an opportunity to continue that.”

James has created engaging presentations using material that Surrey Library Service had in its vaults, including promotional videos featuring the footballer Frank Lampard. He said he is trying to make reading “more cool” for children.

James has also been championing the Creepy House summer reading challenge. For this the Surrey Library Service has teamed-up with illustrator Chris Riddell to design a haunted house poster and related characters.

Children have to read six books and as they complete each milestone they receive stickers to ‘fill and explore’ their Creepy House.

James said reading may be a declining activity for children as there are lots of distractions, but it is “a battle that can be won”.

He said Molesey Library has a thriving crime and thrillers section, but is strong for science books, adding: “I should know.”

Volunteering opportunities at the Library - please help!

A COFFEE morning at Molesey Library in early August was a great success.

The Friends purchased equipment, including an urn and hot water dispenser, and one of our members, Feliks (pictured) sold delicious cakes that were baked by library staff.

Manager Joanne Ryan (right) and her team would love to run events like this more often, but to do so they need the community's help. Perhaps you could help by baking or selling cakes, or even washing the cups and saucers on coffee mornings?

Volunteers are also needed to run Rhymetime and Storytime sessions for children, and computer courses to help older members to master the internet and email.

Here's the full list of volunteer opportunities and times, and please contact library staff or the Friends if you can help. Thank you.

Friends of Molesey Library – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

1. Volunteers needed to set up and run coffee mornings

Coffee Morning: Every Friday
Time: 10.00 – 12.00

Volunteers needed to do the following:

• Person/s in overall charge to organise/ set up morning, wash and ensure everything is cleared away. (Need about 4 regular volunteers – 1 serving Cake, 1 making tea, 1 coffee, wash up and all to help generally)

• Person to bake cakes weekly – funds raised would provide 1 person with £20 per month to provide 2 cakes per week. Cake may be frozen to prevent waste and then all cakes are kept by the same person. Other people coming to the coffee morning may donate a cake).

• Volunteer who has a food hygiene H & S certificate or someone willing to be trained.

Coffee morning is a drop in time so not everyone would stay for two hours. At Chertsey, they invite representatives from other community groups to come e.g community police, fire safety, neighbourhood watch, local councillor etc to talk informally to people.

The morning would run by volunteers so that the Library Team can get on with their work.

2. Volunteers needed at Rhymetime, Story time minimum of 2 per session

Rhymetime: Weekly – Thursday -11.00 – 11.30
Storytime: Weekly  Friday 3.30 – 4.00    Saturday 3.30 – 4.00 

Rhymetime is a weekly event run by the Library team largely for babies & pre-school children so volunteers need to enjoy meeting parents and their children. Generally, the children are very young so parents tend to sit with or very close to their children. Volunteers are needed to welcome parents and show them where to put buggies safely so that they are not causing a health and safety issue in the library area. At the end of the session, help return buggies to parents. Volunteers would also join in with session to encourage and model for the children, help give out instruments etc.

With help from the library team, volunteers would have a sections of age appropriate books to encourage parents to borrow from the library and share with their child. Talk about popular bookswith parents and then be able to make recommendations if asked.  Always take the opportunity to encourage library membership and usage.

There are other children’s activities where help is needed such as art and craft days but these are not weekly events and potential volunteers would need to talk to the library team about dates and the type to help required.

3. Summer Reading Challenge – July - September

Volunteers needed during the Summer to help with the Summer Reading Challenge for children. Can you offer some time each week?

Volunteers need to be interested in children and encourage their reading so that they will complete the challenge during the summer holiday. You would talk to the children about their reading, complete their record cards, give out stickers and encourage them to return having read the next book for the challenge.

More details from Jo and the Team

4. Computer Buddies – 1-2 volunteers per week

Wednesday: 10.00 – 12.00 ( each course runs for 4 weeks)

Volunteers are needed to help people with basic computer skills. You will need patience as some people have no knowledge of computers which is why they want to learn!

More details from Jo and Library Team

5. Code Club

Time to be arranged

Volunteers needed to help with this club designed for young people to learn how to programme computers. This is a very new initiative and can only be started if there are sufficient volunteers to support the library.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Work by local Molesey artists could be displayed at Library

The Friends of Molesey Library have had discussions with Molesey Art Society about displaying local artists' work at the library.

The idea would be to give Art Society members a public place to showcase their work, and for library users to have added reason to come to the library as they will be able to enjoy different paintings that will be on display.

However the first step is to secure funds for picture hanging equipment, and the Friends have applied to the RC Sherrif Trust for help. RC Sherrif was a playwright who lived in Esher, and a trust was established after his death in 1975 to ‘advance and develop the arts’ in Elmbridge.

Chairman of the Friends, Pauline Morozgalska, said: "A very positive link has been made with the Molesey Art Society whose members are keen to display some of their work at Molesey Library. However, a display system is required and neither the Art Society nor the Friends are able to earmark funds for this project at the present time, therefore we are submitting a request to RC Sherriff for a capital grant. If successful it would give local artists the opportunity to showcase their work in a local public building, and bring new visitors to the library."

In April Molesey Arts Society held it’s 54th annual exhibition, at St Alban’s School in Beauchamp Road (pictured above), where work from its 250 members was showcased.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Meet the Author – William Nicholson

There was a reunion of old friends when John Coope invited a school friend, William Nicholson, to a meet the Author Event in March. The evening was a sell-out and a huge coup for Molesey Library as Bill is a well-established and popular author and an acclaimed screenwriter.

He is a very entertaining and engaging speaker who has written a number of books ranging from teenage fantasy to his latest publication “Motherland”, the fourth book in his Sussex novels series. These books take a look at the trials, tribulations and the emotions of the lives of the middle England – he drew parallels with works by authors such as Jane Austen. Writing novels gives him his greatest pleasure.

However, the work that enables him to write for fun is screenwriting and his work in this area is impressive. It includes films such as “Shadowlands” and “Gladiator”, for both of which he was nominated for an Oscar, and more recently the blockbuster “Les Miserables”. He described scriptwriting a tough process as ideas are rejected, he can feel intimidated and marginalised so it is not a chosen route for many writers but he felt that the experience was positive and has made him more resilient. The audience was fascinated to hear about this aspect of his work.

Bill had just finished working as the screenwriter for the film “Mandela”, a project he clearly enjoyed and is looking forward to the public reaction when it is released here later this year.

Monday, 4 February 2013

GP turned author is guest speaker at Friends' second AGM

The Friends of Molesey Library held their second AGM on 31st January.

A business meeting is not always the most exciting although the committee has had a satisfying first year and is succeeding in raising the profile of the library by establishing a website, producing quarterly newsletters, installing a new sign on the lawn outside and holding events such as a well attended Quiz Night and a
Meet the Author evening.

Assistant library manager, Rosina Brittle, talked about the appointment of new members to the library team, including the manager, Joanne Ryan. She outlined some their plans for the future and said that they are looking forward to expanding their partnership with the Friends.

The highlight of the evening was our guest speaker, a new author, Dr. Sola Odemuyiwa. He is a consultant cardiologist who lives and works in Surrey and who took up writing as “a bit of fun”. He talked about his first book “Deadly Conception” which is provocative and deals with issues of race, prejudice and a medical experiment designed to solve some of society’s problems. In addition, he gave us enough information to whet the appetite for his second novel “The Pregnant Mule” due to be published within the next month. He talked very openly about the way in which he writes and where he finds his inspiration. He was a very entertaining, witty speaker who captivated us with his easy charm and fluent delivery. The evening concluded with a book
signing and refreshments.

We were very grateful for all the people in the area who supported the event and also the growing number who are coming forward as volunteers. We have a number of projects that we are hoping to work on and we need help. We are trying to increase links with a variety of local organisations so that the library will become a vibrant hub of our whole community. If you have time available and can offer help, please keep a watch on our website and make contact.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Friends to hold Annual General Meeting on Jan 31 with guest speaker

A YEAR ago the Friends of Molesey Library was established to help secure the future of our much valued local library.

Our purpose is to encourage the people of Molesey to use the library and to assist staff in practical ways in their efforts to improve the library services and experience.

Among our accomplishments to date are: strengthening links with local schools, surveying library users, a ‘meet the author’ evening, a hugely successful quiz night and purchasing a sign for the outside of the library.

We would be delighted if you would join us at our second Annual General Meeting to hear what else we have planned. It will be at Molesey Library on Thursday 31st of January, 6.45pm for a 7pm start. Refreshments will be provided.

Our special guest speaker will be Dr. Sola Odemuyiwa (pictured below), who is a well established Surrey cardiologist, who recently turned his hand to writing.

His first book Deadly Conception was published in 2011. Set mainly in Britain, it is a chilling tale of how medicine could be used as a solution to the social and economic problems of society. His next book The Pregnant Mule is due to be published on 1st February, the day after the AGM so it will be interesting to hear something about the new book and how a cardiologist decided to take up writing.

Joanne Ryan recently completed her first six months as manager of Molesey Library, and there has been a change of chairman in the Friends Committee.

James Moore stepped down in September and has been succeeded as Acting Chairman by Pauline Morozgalska, a former head teacher from West Molesey (she is pictured above left with Joanne Ryan).
James led the group through challenging times when Surrey County Council had earmarked Molesey Library for closure, and once the threat abated, transitioned us into the Friends. We are all very grateful for the time and effort James put in to ensure the library remains open for all to enjoy.

So put a date in your diary for the AGM at the library on January 31st and we look forward to seeing you.

'Pub and post office' among suggestions from library users survey

LAST year the Friends left surveys in the library to get a better idea of what people like or would want to see improved.

Thirty percent of those who responded said they visited the library weekly, and 22% once a fortnight. More than half solely used Molesey Library.

Some 87% said they borrow books, 30% borrow DVDs and 43% use the internet computers. Some 17% come in to read the newspapers and 9% borrow audio books.

The most popular reason for visiting the library, with 91%, was for recreational reading.

Suggestions for improving the service included displaying boards about local history, increasing the number of computers, and offering a post office counter and pub!

Others suggested that community notices and a tea and coffee stand would be welcome, and as these are existing offerings, staff will give thought to better ways of promoting these services.

We thank everyone who took the time to take part in the survey.

Self service machines free up staff for fun things

MOLESEY Library's self service machines are proving to be a great success with users.

Around 90% are now regularly using the barcode scanning computers to borrow and return books.

Library manager Joanne Ryan is pleased with the take up and urged others to try the system out.

She said: "There are still some library users who are reluctant to use the self service because they think the machines are putting staff out of jobs. It's not like that at all - the staff want to be more involved with the community, and self service frees up our time to run activites like rhyme and story time.

"If people have any difficulty using the self service they can ask us for help and we'll be more than happy to show them."

The machines are mounted on tables that can be raised or lowered for younger library users - and kids can make checking out and returning books more fun by selecting the safari or under sea modes on the screen.

New street sign will show the way to Molesey Library

RESEARCH by the Friends suggested that more people would use Molesey Library if there was clearer sign-posting of where it is.

It was decided that we would use some of the money raised at our hugely successful quiz evening last April, to install an eye catching sign in Walton Road.

Shawn Grantham, a local specialist hand signwriter was hired for the task and has created a tasteful but informative design, which we’re delighted with.

Friends treasurer Russell Seekings said: “The location of the library, set back from the road, and part of an anonymous looking building doesn’t help.

“So we agreed that, when funds were available, we would commission a sign, similar to one seen outside another Surrey Library. It has now been completed, and will be erected on the green close to the Walton road, opposite the library in mid-January. Now there’s no excuse for ignorance!”