Please tell us about the financial health of your community owned asset!


Power to Change and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government have commissioned Sheffield Hallam University to conduct research on assets in community ownership so that they can understand and better support the sector.

To make sure that community libraries are represented, we would be very grateful if you could complete this short survey to share your experiences. As a thank you for completing the survey you will be able to enter a prize a draw to win one of two £100 high street vouchers for your library.

The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. It may help to have access to your latest financial accounts to help you with some of the questions; though estimates are also accepted for ease of completion.

Complete the questionnaire online at:

The information you provide will be used by Sheffield Hallam University in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, GDPR and other applicable legislation. The information will only be used to understand provide research on assets in community ownership. Your information will not be shared with any other party, without your permission,and we will maintain your anonymity in any reporting. For more information please see our privacy policy.

If you have any questions or issues when completing the survey please contact Cathy Harris via email ( or telephone (0114 225 6113).


Arts Council Consultation – ends 2 January 2019

We hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and a big Welcome to 2019.

Many of you may already be aware of the Arts Council’s consultations which started in October 2018. The consultations end tomorrow – 2nd of January 2019.

A quick reminder to add your voice to the consultation document (, to ensure the voice and needs of community managed libraries are fully embedded in their new strategy for 2020 – 2030.

Please note forthcoming learning events – the next session on Bid Writing is on 30th of January – remember to book a place now.

Wishing you all an enjoyable and successful 2019.

Seasons Greetings and More!

Thank you to everyone for your wonderful support in 2018.  Below is a recap on some of the things we did or started in 2018:

  • 1st CML Peer Network Conference, March 2018, Sheffield, over 70 attendees
  • Over 90 people participated in 9 webinar/face to face sessions
  • Further support from Power to Change to create a sustainable peer Network and a regional presence
  • Work started to formalise our status, as a Charity
  • Initial support by 4 students from CASS Business School to develop a membership model

More to look forward to in 2019, includes

  • Practical Bid Writing Workshop, London, 30th January 2019
  • Developing a robust Business Plan, 5 March 2019, venue TBC
  • Community Engagement and Volunteers, 24 April 2019, venue North TBC
  • The Law – Assets, Governance and Trustees, 4 June 2019 venue TBC
  • Second CML Peer Network Conference

Plus some webinars on Community Businesses, Impact, Equality and Diversity and Business Development.

Thank you for your ongoing support and Merry Christmas and a Successful 2019.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Practical session on Bid Writing for community managed libraries will now run as a WEBINAR on 30 January 2019

The Bid Writing workshop planned for 30th of January 2019 at the Upper Norwood Library Hub (UNLH) in Crystal Palace, will now run as a WEBINAR from 11.00am to 12.15pm.

Facilitated by Sally Long, Chair of Cricklewood Community Library who have been successful in raising funds from different sources with support from Upper Norwood Library Hub..

You will learn more about what makes a good bid; lessons learnt from peers who have been successful/not successful with bids; budgets and some practical tools and ideas to help you improve/develop future bids and your bid writing skills.

You can book a place at this practical session @

If you have any questions regarding the workshop or if you wish to learn more about the Community Managed Libraries Peer Network, please email





As part of the wider Government strategy to improve safeguarding practice across the voluntary sector in England, DCMS in partnership with Big Lottery Fund are investing a total of £1.14 million to improve access to training, support and advice.

The Safeguarding Training Fund will provide funding in two phases until 2022. For the first phase DCMS is seeking an organisation or partnership of organisations with the track record and knowledge to develop high quality resources which will be freely available to the voluntary sector to improve safeguarding practice.

This will then be followed by a second phase which will fund a small number or organisations or partnerships to share the resources developed during Phase 1 and support grassroots charities and community organisations to improve their safeguarding practice.

For details of how to apply visit:

Phase 1 applications are open now.  Applications invited for up to £570,000 and the submission deadline is Monday 14 January at 12.00pm.

Taken from (Office for Civil Society) OCS For Info (London and South) – December 2018

Media roundup – November 2018




  • 16 Nov: Ten library tips for teens and young people (NZ) would be valid for teens anywhere
  • 15 Nov: IFLA at the Internet Governance Forum 2018: Libraries Central to Building a Trusted Internet ”Libraries were well placed to help communities to get into action. They could offer solutions to practical problems, a space for coordination between community members, leadership in new initiatives, and training in how to take advantage of new possibilities.”
  • 14 Nov: “Calgary’s New Central Library is an example of the best practices in modern monument making” (Canada) “It is remarkable how, all around the world, libraries have become the main focus of civic activity. While they were always places that acted as access points to knowledge, they have in recent years turned into social centres, community halls, theatres, museums, and even a species of indoor park (this last function mainly of use to the homeless and socially disadvantaged), all rolled into one. They have also become the most active and active structure in many communities, the one public building that defines and serves neighbourhoods or whole cities without charging you for a cup of coffee or waiting until you are sick.”
  • 13 Nov: Learning Lessons from DPLA the Digital Public Library of America – laying off staff and a change in strategic direction. Previously focused on aggregating and curating special collections and a technical approach that made sense for the web, now appears to be pivoting more towards ebook distribution systems.
  • 9 Nov: Constructive Confrontation: Being Decisive Rather than Nice (Public Libraries Online) strategies for dealing with challenging library patrons.
  • Feb: A librarian’s case against overdue book fines (TED talk) Librarian from the US makes the case (talk dates from Feb 2018 – just appeared in alert!)





Could you help strengthen local youth services? Invitations to tender.

As part of the Building Connections Fund Youth strand (in partnership with Government), the Co-op Foundation is inviting tenders from organisations with the right skills and expertise to deliver two key contracts to tackle youth loneliness by strengthening local youth services.
Two invitations to tenders opened on 6 November 2018, for:
Up to £85,000 (including VAT) to develop and support the ‘Belong’ Learning Network.
Up to £150,000 (including VAT) to develop a suite of resources aimed at improving the capabilities of youth workers and youth organisations to tackle loneliness.
Both contracts will run to the end of March 2021. Organisations can tender for one or both of these.
Tender responses must be submitted by midday on Monday 3 December 2018. Contracts will start in January 2019. Please visit the Coop Foundation’s website for more information.

Funding Opportunity

NESTA’s Amplified aimed at UK’s cultural and creative community

On 2nd October 2018, NESTA launched Amplified which offers funding and support to develop digital ideas that improve the lives of others.

Aimed at cultural and creative organisations, not-for-profit or commercial, to come up with a digital idea that addresses a social challenge and produces a social benefit. Your idea can be local or global, as long as it has a real world benefit.  Ideas need to be both original and impactful to make it past the first stage of the application process.

To find out more visit:

Back to Basics – Webinar Recording

View the recording of the Back to Basics webinar:

This Webinar was delivered by Darrell Porter, Sheffield Libraries. The webinar will cover

  • Building a positive working relationship with the local authority

  • Developing an understanding of what it is like to work/voluneer in a library

  • The need to understand the shape your service will take

  • The importance of developing a strong committee and a solid base of volunteers (including training)

  • Consulting with your community and working to get them on board with the library

  • Getting connected with other Community Managed Libraries

  • Universal Offers