Quick Updates

Hi Colleagues

Hope you are all doing well.

Next Network Meeting (Online) – 17 December 2021 @ 10.30am

Our next Network Meeting will take place online on 17 December 2021 @ 10.30am. This session will give us an opportunity to focus on learning from the past year, and look ahead to 2022. We are keen to find out how we can support you more in 2022, including new activities or services we could implement in the New Year. To book a place visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/network-meeting-december-2021-tickets-167493051225

Did you know that…...

That business rates is reduced for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, some of the hardest hit throughout the pandemic? This was set out in the Chancellor’s recent announcement.

Heritage Compass – great opportunity, read on to find out more!

Applications now live for Heritage Compass! 

Heritage Compass is delighted to announce that the final round of applications is open from now until midday 16th December! Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through the recruitment period.

Join 300 other heritage organisations across England and help your heritage organisation to thrive over this free year-long programme, all made possible thanks to the ongoing support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund. We’re proud to partner on this programme led by Cause4 along with Creative United / the Arts Marketing Association.

Want to learn more about what you’ll get out of Heritage Compass?

Join Head of Programme Shirley Lundstram at a free Q&A:

  • Thursday 18th November 2021, midday – 1pm
  • Thursday 9th December 2021, midday – 1pm 

Reserve your space at either one of the Q&As here.

Apply for the programme now here!

Community Choir Festival

Join us online or in person at Upper Norwood Library Hub for our first ever Community Choir Festival. The festival celebrates community choirs both near and far in an evening of choral excellence. Seven community choirs will lead us through their creative creations. This event is sure to lift hearts and settle souls. There are two livestreamed events in November and a grand festival on 12 December at UNLH, this will also be livestreamed.

For more information and details of how to book, visit: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/uppernorwoodlibraryhub/595985

Thank you.


Network Meeting and a Case Study from Harbury Community Village

All, hope you are well.

Network Meeting – 7 October 2021 @ 10.30am – register now, link below

Please join us on 7th October. We will have lots of time for information sharing, peer support/advice, receiving updates from national and local meetings and more. We will also be joined by Sam Brown, Director and Co-Founder of a strategy and innovation consultancy for responsible businesses and digital and emerging technologies, and a freelance strategic communications and business coach. Sam is doing some amazing work, and will talk about how to connect libraries to the priorities of the UK and the world at the moment – around technology, democracy, and climate change.. Sam will join us after 11am.  Register here: Network Meeting – October 2021 Tickets, Thu 7 Oct 2021 at 10:30 | Eventbrite

Terracycle and the Environment at Harbury Village Library

Recycling Boxes

Over the last 6 months Harbury Village Library has become more engaged with environmental groups in our village. The first step was taken when we were approached by the Harbury Environmental Group and asked if we would host some Terracycle recycling boxes in the library foyer. Since we already hosted boxes for Food Bank donations and a box for donations of Hedgehog Food, we agreed. In no time at all we had installed Terracycle-provided recycling boxes for used Marigold gloves, and their packaging, and for toothbrush heads and other dental care products.

We now plan to install recycling boxes for bras, organised through Bravissimo who make a donation to Coppafeel for every kg of bras donated. We will also host a collecting box for empty medication blister packs organised by SuperDrug in cooperation with Terracycle. We have, however, politely declined the opportunity to host a recycling box for empty crisp packets.

As well as simply being a good thing to do, the initiative results in people coming into the library who might not do so otherwise.

Recycling Poster Competition

In parallel with organising recycling boxes the same environmental group launched a competition for children to create a poster explaining why recycling is important for the planet. They again approached the library and we agreed not only to help publicise the competition, but to provide prizes of books about the environment for the winners in each of two age groups. We also arranged for two graphic design professionals, who are also library volunteers, to judge the competition. After the judging we will display all of the entries in the library. This is one of the competition entries.

Moths to a Flame

Since Summer Reading Challenge 2021 had an environmental theme we decide to hold a children’s activity afternoon that mirrored this. Serendipitously we discovered the Moths to a Flame project being run by the Art and Energy collective in Plymouth. They are encouraging people throughout the country to make 20,000 glow in the dark moths out of plastic milk bottles which will then be brought together in a single art installation in Glasgow in time for the COP26 climate conference in November.

The Thursday afternoon event was a “sell out” and we created 21 milk bottle moths to send off to the conference. Probably the same number of moths went home with their creators. The children were also encouraged to write down what they want world leaders to do about the climate crisis and these too will be delivered to Glasgow.

What next?

Probably we’ll just take a deep breath before embarking on our next project, but we can be sure that if we don’t think of something, someone else in the village certainly will, and because we’re now recognised as a welcoming hub for such ideas, they’ll certainly come to Harbury Village Library first for help.

Thank you.

Network Meeting and DCMS College of Experts

Hi all, hope you are all well and that you managed to take a break or planning to take one shortly.

Network Meeting on 9th September

At our next Network Meeting this coming Thursday, 9th September from 10.30am, we will be joined by Bob Sherman from the Low Carbon Warwickshre Network and Caspar Kennerdale, ClearCommunityWeb.

Bob will share some insights and examples of recent projects aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of community buildings in Warwickshire, explain why this is an important initiative, and provide suggestions for funding sources. Caspar runs ClearCommunityWeb in Crystal Palace, London. He has supported over 200 older people, vulnerable adults and carers get devices and build confidence using the internet to help them stay in contact with each other, access critical services and support networks. Caspar will share further information about his organisation’s new volunteer training program for community organizations looking to provide a digital inclusion programme. To find out more and to book a place you can visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cml-network-meetings-tickets-167485310071

DCMS College of Experts

DCMS needs to draw upon a broad range of expertise including technical experts, scientific researchers, social scientists, policy and behavioural experts and economists to inform its work. The breadth of the department’s portfolio is reflected on the department’s outcome plan and in activities described in the DCMS website and the DCMS blog. High quality advice, knowledge and expertise and external challenge is crucial to the work of the department and underpins the Government’s policy of drawing upon open science and new knowledge to support policy making. The department is particularly interested in gaining external expert advice in a number of crucial focus areas. The areas and the sorts of expertise DCMS is interested in are listed in the attached document, read on to find out more including details of how to get involved: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AjFw7OBEwwEBu-uIRKuUO0Dz2j9ZrLNp/view?usp=sharing

Thank you.

Network Meetings September – December 2021

Hi everyone.

Hope you are well and safe, and enjoying the Summer. Short update on Network Meeting Dates from September 2021 – December 2021.

September Network Meeting

Our next network meeting is on 9th of September. We have created space for discussions on re-opening and lessons. You will have the opportunity to share learning, good practice, issues and concerns and get support from peers.

We have two guest Speakers joining us, Bob Sherman from the Low Carbon Warwickshire Network and Caspar Kennerdale from ClearCommunity Web.

Bob’s presentation focuses on Energy Initiatives for Community Libraries. The buildings that Community Managed Libraries occupy come in all shapes, sizes and ages, but almost all could reduce their energy consumption, save money, and make a contribution towards tackling Climate Change. Bob will give examples of recent projects aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of community buildings in Warwickshire, explain why this is an important initiative, and provide suggestions for funding sources to make this possible.

Caspar will share his experiences and learning from helping seniors, vulnerable adults and carers to get devices and build confidence using the internet to help them stay in contact with each other, access critical services and support networks. There will also be further information about his newly developed volunteer training program for community organizations looking to provide a digital inclusion programme.

The meeting on 9 September is online, and starts at 10.30am, chaired by David Smith. To book visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cml-network-meetings-tickets-167485310071

Network Meeting Dates from October onwards

See below to find out more, including the theme for the day and details of how to book:

7th October 2021 @ 10.30am: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/network-meeting-october-2021-tickets-167490557767

11th November 2021 @ 10.30am: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/network-meeting-november-2021-tickets-167492607899

9th December 2021 @ 10.30am: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/network-meeting-december-2021-tickets-167493051225

Thank you and see you on 9th September.

Updates including Network Meeting Dates from September 2021

I hope you are all well. A few updates, a funding opportunity plus dates for our Network Meetings from September 2021. Wishing you all a peaceful and restful summer.

  1. Public Library Service operational guidance for the period after 19th July 2021

This guidance note is for public library services in England and applies to operations in Step 4 of the government’s recovery plan which started on 19th July. The note has been prepared by Libraries Connected in consultation with Public Health England, and in line with guidance published by the Government. You can find out more here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zYSMRA3KXU25FDlBNp9vh6N8xEXU8Qw3/view?usp=sharing

2. The Arts Council’s Youth Advisory Board

Our Youth Advisory Board will consist of approx. 10-15 young people from across the North of England. Together they will work with staff from across the organisation to ensure the voices of young people are at the heart of what we do.

Our first cohort will be in post from September 2021 – July 2022, during our pilot phase, where they will have the opportunity to engage in arts and culture whilst developing skills to support them in their future careers. 

We’re working with three organisations to support the delivery of this programme: Youth Focus North West, Youth Focus North East and Youth Work Unit Yorkshire and the Humber. Find out more > https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/news/we%E2%80%99re-recruiting-our-youth-advisory-board

3. Network Meetings from September 2021

Network meetings resume from September 2021, below are the dates for the meetings. On 9th September, we will discuss life post 19th July, and there will be a Speaker from the Low Carbon Network and another to cover all things digital. We are hoping to invite other speakers to all our meetings and will update you all in due course.

9th September 2021 13 January 2022
7th October 2021 17 February 2022
4 November 2021 24 March 2022
9th December 2021

4. Power to Change Community Business Market Survey is now live

The Power to Change annual Community Business Market survey is now live. The survey helps Power to Change and the rest of the sector understand and better support community businesses across England. Never has community-led business, nor the support they receive, been more important than in this time of recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year one of the key focus’ of the survey is the environmental impact and activities of community-led businesses. If you are, or think you might be, a community business, please follow the link for more information and to complete the survey. This should take no longer than 25 minutes. https://survey.euro.confirmit.com/wix/p556611249606.aspx?P=3

5. Other Updates

Read, Talk, Share – How the Reading Agency helped libraries tackle loneliness – DCMS Libraries (blog.gov.uk)

A report by the Centre for Ageing Better offers examples of good practice and recommendations for organisations that deliver services to users and help digitally excluded people with skills training: COVID-19 and the digital divide: Supporting digital inclusion and skills during the pandemic and beyond | Centre for Ageing Better (ageing-better.org.uk)

The Rediscover Summer campaign will be based around a central page on GOV.UK, with dedicated ‘Shorthand Social’ pages that gather details on summer activities for children and young people across across the six main themes from government and partners: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aUn4yb8Kg4yxHoUJoHBXhof7Ijc9HJ5d/view?usp=sharing

Funding Opportunity

£100,000 donation for Charities working to support vulnerable people and communities impacted by COVID-19

As the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt, Barclays will be making a further 50 donations of £100,000 each to UK charities working to support vulnerable people and communities impacted by COVID-19, and to alleviate the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis. UK charities, with an annual income of at least £1m, are invited to apply to receive a donation of £100,000 to meet the needs of our communities as they emerge from the pandemic, including:

  • help for people experiencing physical and mental health issues;
  • financial assistance for people facing financial hardship;
  • support for ethnically diverse communities disproportionately impacted by the crisis; and
  • enhancing digital accessibility.

Applications close at 6pm on Friday 6 August, 2021. Find out more and apply here.

Rediscover Summer

Colleagues, hope you are well. An interesting update for you all, please see below:

The Rediscover Summer campaign will be based around a central page on GOV.UK, with dedicated ‘Shorthand Social’ pages that gather details on summer activities for children and young people across across the six main themes from government and partners. These are:

  • Week 1 – Reading / 26 July
  • Week 2 – Creativity / 02 August
  • Week 3 – Sport / 09 August
  • Week 4 – Nature/ 16 August
  • Week 5 – Heritage/ 23 August
  • Week 6 – Community/ 30 August

The campaign team at DCMS is now gathering content so they can profile the amazing things happening over the summer, aiming for a soft-launch of the campaign on 10th July, to give organisations enough time to highlight what they have on offer that parents can plan ahead for during the summer holidays. The DCMS team will also be profiling individual examples during the themed weeks highlighting what’s on offer on their social media channels.

How to get involved

DCMS want to use this as an opportunity to showcase the sort of things that libraries have to offer. Although the Reading Week is obviously one that libraries will be front and centre of (and which links in to the TRA-led Summer Reading Challenge and Summer of Reading activities that libraries are so involved in) looking at the other themed weeks there may be other activities/events that libraries can provide material for, such as creativity, heritage (local studies etc) and community.

To help libraries’ content and activity to be featured on the campaign’s channels, please email Rediscover-Summer@dcms.gov.uk with details of:

  • Activities libraries are running over the summer so the team can promote this and add it to their pages. 
  • Content such as video footage, trailers, montages, explainer ads etc. and images that libraries are happy for the team to add #RediscoverSummer branding to, either in the form of a logo on stills, or an endslate for video.

They also want public libraries to get involved by posting activities on their channels, using the #RediscoverSummer hashtag aligned to the weeks and themes above. Please let the campaign team know (via the Rediscover-Summer@dcms.gov.uk mailbox) what you’ll be publishing/posting and when so they can look out for it and amplify. There will be a #RediscoverSummer toolkit available before the 10th for you to use with your content. You’re also welcome to tag:


Across the campaign, the DCMS team would like to gather data to measure the effectiveness of the campaign in supporting you and our partners. They would like to play a part in helping drive uplifts in footfall and other participation rates. We hope that through the campaign any promotion the campaign gives will raise awareness and encourage people to take part in your summer activity. Any data you are happy to provide which would allow the team to track this activity would be gratefully appreciated (including social media metrics and visitor data).

Thank you.

June Updates

All, hope you are well, safe and enjoying the sunny weather. A few updates to share, and hope you find them useful.

  • Libraries Assessment Strategy ITT has been published

Tender is due to close on 25/06/21 at 12:00

  • Environment and Libraries – interesting article on digital books and impacts on the environment in the link below. 

Diverse and unusual films showing at Upper Norwood Library Hub

Monthly, (online) mini film season at Upper Norwood Library. Mondays, starting 28 June from 9-10pm until 27 September 2021. The season continues to promote diversity within cinema through drama, documentary, archive and collaborative films. Plus, will explore people making change through lifestyle choices or working as a community. There will be interviews and/or an introduction prior to each film. Tickets HERE


Locality are recruiting a Development Officer for London. Locality is looking for someone with a good understanding of communities and organisations that reflect the strengths and diversity of the Capital to work with community organisations, Local Authorities and others, delivering high quality support and business advice. https://locality.org.uk/about/jobs/development-officer-2/ Deadline for applications is the 21st June

Power to Change is seeking to appoint three Trustee Directors to join their board who are leaders of community businesses or leaders from the wider community sector. This is a rare opportunity to directly influence how Power to Change support the community business sector, its contribution to redressing social inequalities, and advocating for social change on a national scale whilst we deliver our ambitious new five year strategy. Full details of the role can be found HERE. Applications close 4 July.

Funding Opportunities

Check out these recently-updated funding database.

Arts Council links: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/wellbeing-through-arts-and-culture/social-prescribing#section-1

This has a link to the sheet explaining the changes to how libraries can apply to the National Lottery Project Grants: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/news-and-announcements/NLPG-whats-new.

Arts & Culture Finance – Our open funds: The Arts & Culture Impact Fund is open for applications until summer 2023, offering loans between £150,000 and £1 million for UK based arts, culture and heritage organisations that have a clear social mission.

The Cultural Impact Development Fund is open for applications until March 2023, offering small-scale repayable finance between £25,000 – £150,000 to socially driven arts and cultural organisations based in England. 

Stay safe and keep well.

Libraries Toolkit Update

Managing books and library resources safely.

PHE has updated their advice to libraries in light of the present low prevalence of COVID-19 and the current knowledge of the ability of COVID-19 virus (including variants) to survive on surfaces after experimental studies.

PHE do not consider there to be a need to isolate returned Library books for 72 hours. This is in line with the advice that shops do not need to isolate returned goods. Books can be wiped down if possible with a proprietary cleaning solution which is effective against COVID-19 (PHE cleaning guidance), especially if they have a protective plastic cover.

This revised quarantine advice applies also to books with leather and vellum covers. Newspapers and magazines can be reinstated in libraries

Please follow this link to access the updated toolkit: https://www.librariesconnected.org.uk/resource/service-recovery-toolkit-word

Air Purifier Scam – BEIS-Headed Letter Circulating

I hope you are all well. Please see below some important information shared with the Network.

We are aware of businesses receiving BEIS-headed letters (see attached image) instructing them to share contact details and purchase air purifiers. This is incorrect and an illegitimate letter. A tweet has been shared via the BEIS account (here) encouraging recipients to send on to Action Fraud.

Sharing a few updates

I hope you are all well.. Please find below a few updates:


You can find out more about the Health Protection Regulations here: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk)


We have shared some links to funding opportunities announced by the government. We hope you find them useful.

The Restart Grant supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care, gym businesses and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Community Renewal Fund will provide £220 million additional funding to help places across the UK prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK. The £4.8 billion fund will support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets

Next Network Meeting

Our next network meeting will take place on 8th of April 2021 at 10.30am. Chaired by David Smith, with presentations from Jess Huffman of the National Rural Touring Forum and Peggy Nauman, Digital Skills Culture.

You can book a place at the meeting 8 April Network Meeting.

Thank you all and stay safe.