Capturing the Voice of CMLs

Dear Colleagues

I hope you are all well and safe. Here are a few updates, please share with colleagues and in your networks.

Arts Council England:  Arts Council England in partnership with DCMS and the Network have just launched a new survey to establish the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on community managed libraries. This survey builds upon the previous survey and consultations conducted by the Network. The survey link should now be with a contact in your library. If have not received a link and you would like to complete the survey, please contact who will issue you with a survey link.

Department for Communities Media and Sports (DCMS):   DCMS is conducting a survey to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors and their engagement with the available government interventions. It has been commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to better understand the needs of its stakeholders. Your answer will remain anonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts. Please follow the link below to begin submitting your response: DCMS Business Impacts of Coronavirus Survey  To be completed by by 23:59 GMT on 15/05/2020.

Useful Information, Resources and Toolkits

DfE: DfE recently launched a platform: Skills Toolkit– a platform aimed at furloughed workers (and others that want to take the opportunity) to upskill, with an initial focus on digital and numeracy skills.  Here’s a link to the GOV.UK news story.  The toolkit is not sector specific and can be promoted widely. The two key audiences to reach are those individuals that may have scope to take up this offer, and also employers to encourage their staff to do so.

Libraries Connected:

#LibrariesFromHome is  one of the resources that can be used by parents or carers homeschooling primary age children, and is on the Hungry Little Minds campaign website, which provides fun activities for children to help stimulate speech and language development.

CILIP have also launched the National Shelf Service, to share the expertise of librarians through daily book recommendations.

Law Works: Covid-19 related guidance, information and advice for charities and not-for-profits. Including: corporate/governance, employment, property and tax issues:

Covid-19 Virtual Support and Learning Sessions

These sessions are well attended by CMLs and feedback has been very positive.  Attendees share their experiences around the impact of Covid-19 on their CMLs/communities, they also get the opportunity to exchange ideas with their peers, ask questions, seek support and learn from others. The sessions are held on Zoom.

To register please select one of the links below, and follow the instructions. We will send you a Zoom Link to join the session on the day.

Next week, we will share future learning and networking sessions here and on our website:

Thank you.

Summary feedback from Covid-19 Survey, other feedback and useful learning…..

I hope you are all well and safe.  This morning’s communication

  • provides a brief summary of findings from our recent survey/consultations;
  • dates for the next Virtual networking and learning events
  • links to resources, learning and funding opportunities and some useful ideas from other CMLs


Many thanks to all who contributed. 15 completed the online survey and we received 40+email contributions. 4 main issues identified by CMLs and a number of questions. Some of these are being fed back to appropriate sector agencies and their responses shared with CMLs (see below). We are collectively exploring some of these issues in our Virtual networking and support sessions (see below for future dates), and will be looking at some tailored resources in the near future.

1. Funding and financial support for CMLs, particularly those amongst us who trade in events, space hire, cafes and more… With the buildings shut, there is a significant loss of income, which could potentially impact on the organisation in the longer term.  There was also the question about whether CMLs could access the government package of support for businesses.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has confirmed that CMLs are entirely within the scope for accessing the Government’s Covid-19 business rates relief and cash grants for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors both under the leisure classification and also retail where they trade.   

If a CML has a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 it may be eligible for a cash grant of up to £25,000 and likewise if its property has a rateable value of up to £15,000 it may be eligible for a grant of £10,000.  This is irrespective of whether a CML gets 80% rates relief as a charity and a further 20%  charitable discretionary relief from its local authority which may or may not be given by the Local Authority depending on its policy re discretionary relief.

If a CML is not a charitable trust and is paying business rates it will qualify for a business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year under the Covid-19 scheme.  If a CML is already receiving small business rates relief it will be eligible for a small business grant of £10,000 if it is not a charity and it uses only one property. Applying for a grant or rates relief should be done through the Local Authority that sends you your business rates bill which will have a reference number to quote and also shows what the rateable value of the building is. All details and how to apply will be on your Local Authority’s website under Covid-19.  If it is queried by the business rates team then it may be best to seek support from your Head of Libraries at your Council for your application.

2.  Guidance on book deliveries:  Some of you want to start book deliveries but the question is how to do it in a safe manner to avoid spreading the infection to users or putting volunteers at risk? There were concerns about the hygiene of books and whether to quarantine the books, and for how long?  A few of you have been able to mobilise other local volunteers to deliver food and medicines however for CMLs with volunteers aged 70+, they are all self-isolating so there is no one to do the deliveries and collections. For others the building is shut and will remain so until we are advised to re-open.

3.  The Return: Life as we knew it before will not be the same post crisis.  Will CMLs need to practice social distancing as with many public spaces today? Has anyone thought of a re-opening plan and what this could look like for CMLs? Is there something like a phased, slow return or full on return to normal and what are the key considerations? Some expressed concerns around the building safety and measures to take to prevent a further outbreak in the building/community.  Could limited maintenance tasks in the building can be carried out whilst closed?   One also felt that post lockdown there should be a national publicity drive for the benefits of libraries, involving all community led libraries alongside publicly funded libraries, along with closer working between all types of library, including independent CML’s

4. Volunteers: our lifeline. Social isolation may go on for many months and for some of our volunteers aged 70+ they may be unwilling to return to the buildings once re-opened, whilst some may fear working with the public. Volunteer recruitment, retention and indeed retraining (how to work in a post Covid-19 environment) will be a major issue for CMLs.  Some of you want to know if there are CMLs doing anything to hold onto/bring volunteers back post pandemic? Others felt it would be beneficial to collate a profile of volunteers in the sector and to start working on a succession management strategy for CMLs.  Could CMLs be at risk of having no one to run the building/provide services when we return?

Thank you  again, if you would like to share any of your views, ideas or concerns, do join us at one of our online sessions, or email


Below are the dates for our next networking and support sessions. To book a place simply select the date you wish to attend, follow the instructions provided to register. A Zoom link will be sent nearer the time, please use this to join the session on the day.

Dates for June and early July will be announced in coming weeks.  See below for brief feedback from 3 colleagues who attended on 16 April:

I found it helpful to see and hear people and catching up on the situation they find themselves in, and what they are doing to keep contact with volunteers and service users………. The common themes seem to be how much our libraries have become community hubs and a power for social inclusion, and the engagement and pride our volunteers feel. Linda, Glen Hills, Leicestershire

 Just wanted to say I really, really found the Zoom meeting useful, motivating, informative, well organised and thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone from around the country.  Being given the opportunity to talk and chat to everyone about their libraries was a real breath of fresh air for more.  Deborah, Derby Law Centre

It’s vital that we keep our volunteers and library users interested and engaged during the shutdown period and we are preparing to offer a series of virtual clubs, activities and events.   Alison, Trustee from Northfields Community Library in The Borough of Ealing which was due to open in April 2020, but now unable to due to Covid-19.


Funding Opportunities

There may be Covid-19 funding opportunities specific to your own local communities or regions so do look out for them on relevant websites. You can also check funders’ websites, local authority sites, speak to people in your local networks, listen out for regional/national announcements. Below are a few we have received, some may have deadlines approaching:

Interesting Resources

 Surrey Libraries

Ideas from some CMLs

  • Phone vulnerable customers to make sure they are okay and ask if they are in need of food, chat or prescriptions and then organise yourself or volunteers wherever possible to supply any of that if needed
  • If there are people in your community/users who have a computer or smart phone but are not very good at getting online, you can offer this service to them or help them find out if there is support locally.
  • Offer your space to co-ordinate efforts for food/essential deliveries
  • Put a call out for volunteers of all ages so you can start building a pool of volunteers for when you return
  • Speak to your local authorities about what support is available for your organisation
  • Provide virtual services eg music, storytelling, craft sessions, language classes and reading groups: see Sing Song from Virginia at Garden Surburb Community Library

Thank you all and stay safe.



Virtual Catch Up

Hello Colleagues, I hope you are safe and well.

A reminder that the first Virtual Support and Learning during COVID-19 hosted by David Smith, Chair of the Network, will take place tomorrow 16th April 2020 at 11.30am. If you plan to join the session tomorrow please register HERE.  We will immediately send you a ZOOM link to join the session.

The next session will take place on 30th April 2020 11.30am – 12.30pm, please book a place HERE

Purpose of the Virtual Sessions:

  • To support each other during these unprecedented times and capture your feedback
  • Share ideas, experiences, learning including existing and planned activities during the pandemic
  • Keep abreast with local and national developments including opportunities open to CMLs

The virtual support sessions will be organised through Zoom.

Many thanks and look forward to meeting some of you online.


CML National Peer Network


We hope you are all well and safe.  There is a lot of information contained in this communication and we hope you find it useful.


The Network is involved regularly in contributing information at the strategic level to the DCMS. This means that issues from the field are therefore critically important to pass on quickly in this rapidly evolving situation.  With this in mind, we would like to capture the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your CML and would be very grateful if you could spend 5-7 minutes completing a very short SURVEY by 9 April 2020. Results from the SURVEY  will be shared on this site and passed on as quickly to relevant colleagues.

Please select SURVEY to complete. Thanking you all in advance.

CMLs – Virtual Support and Learning during COVID-19

We have organised two virtual/online support and learning together sessions on

The session will be open to a maximum of 12 people at a time and led by the Chair of the CML National Peer Network, David Smith.  To book, simply click on the date you wish to attend the virtual session and it will take you straight to our Eventbrite booking page. You can then register to join the event. If you experience any difficulties or want further information please email

Further sessions will be planned in May 2020 depending on feedback and learning we capture from the survey and the two online sessions.

Purpose of the Virtual Sessions:

  • To support each other during these unprecedented times and capture your feedback
  • Share ideas, experiences, learning including existing and planned activities during the pandemic
  • Keep abreast with local and national developments including opportunities open to CMLs

The virtual support sessions will be organised through Zoom. Once you register, we will send you a confirmation email plus a short guide explaining how to join the Virtual Support Session on Zoom.


Arts Council

The Arts Council has put together an Emergency Response Package made up of: £20 million available to individuals, £50 million to organisations outside of their National Portfolio and £90 million to National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs).  Please select this link to find out more: ARTS COUNCIL EMERGENCY RESPONSE PACKAGE

Good Finance

Good Finance have also put together a COVID-19 Resource Hub for Charities and Social Enterprises. The site includes useful resources, funding and investment guides, support programmes and much more, available HERE

Power to Change

You can also find out How Power to Change is supporting the community business sector in response to COVID-19 HERE. The site also includes a link to the support packages announced by government.

On 1st April 2020, Power To Change and its delivery partners hosted a Webinar on Managing your community business during the Covid-19 crisis, further information including the presentation slides can be found HERE.


You may wish to check out Locality’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Support hub for COVID-19 funding and support opportunities. For those CMLs who are Locality members, the site includes support available to members.


There is guidance and resources to support charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit NCVO site for further information


We have been collating information and resources we hope will be useful for you, your organisation and communities during these unprecedented times:

  • GIFT AID: If you are concerned GIFT Aid on cancelled tickets

For CMLs who run as theatres or cultural venues who have queries around claiming Gift Aid when patrons agree to donate to the venue the value of their tickets for an event cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the response here.


The following are a few activities organised by some CMLs/organisations during the lockdown period.  You can find out more by clicking the links provided. If you are doing something interesting or have a new idea to share with everyone, then please email

  • Activities for children, families and everyone in the community

We came across this link to activities you can enjoy as a family, with friends and users during the lockdown: Lockdown links.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf.pdf

  • Sing Song Time at Garden Suburb Community Library, Hampstead

Virginia from the Garden Suburb Community Library in Hampstead Garden, North London has run an amazingly successful Sing Song Time on Thursdays, for a number of years.  For many children confined to their homes for the foreseeable future Virginia recorded a special Sing Song Time just for you ! You can access it here:

Virginia would also love to receive feedback either by email or on through Facebook @gardensuburbcommunitylibrary or Twitter @HGScLibrary

  •  Daily live streams at the Upper Norwood Library Hub:  Upper Norwood Library Hub in London runs volunteer led daily live streams: from yoga, to singing classes, talk shows to bed-time stories. You can join/access by selecting this link: DAILY LIVE STREAMS FROM UNLH

Digital Inclusion sessions – Virtual Offer from Clearcommunityweb and Upper Norwood Library Hub

The library hub also offers virtual digital sessions each week for Seniors, both 1-1 and group sessions. Sessions include

  • Help to set up video chat software to stay in contact with family, friends, neighbours during this time. (Skype/ Facetime/ WhatsApp)
  • Help to set up online shopping account and making that first purchase
  • Critical form filling and applications: Council, Rent, Health Service

Harbury Community Library

Runs online Classic Book Group and relaunch of online Spanish and French lessons, online publication of cake recipes from list of favourite homemade cakes served in the library cafe, online publication of art works by local artists which are currently hanging in the unvisited library, and finally working with Parish Council to start home delivery service for library books to most vulnerable people in our community who already being supported by PC volunteers.

Jesmond Library

The library is setting up a collection and a home delivery service to allow people to have access to books/resources. The service will be publicised on their website:; facebook page and through posters at strategic sites in Jesmond. They are developing procedures for new memberships, home deliveries and collection of books.

Repair Cafe

Collaboration between library and Harbury Energy Initiative.

Seed Share Initiative

A collaboration between community library and primary school gardening club ( This has been incredibly successful.

Thank you for your time and we will stay connected.



With COVID-19 gripping our nation we are now faced with so much uncertainty.   We hope you are all keeping safe and well. We know some libraries have already closed their buildings, others may be winding down now, whilst some of those still open may be taking the lead from their local authorities.

We have pulled together a few links to government and NHS guidelines (many of you may have seen most of these links already) and to national agencies plus practical ideas from some Network members during these very difficult times.

Government Guidance

Other Useful Information

The following links take you to very useful information from the Arts Council, Libraries Connected and NCVO.

Hygiene Precautions

For those who are still open, some CMLs

  • are displaying official guidance about the virus in their building
  • have increased hygiene precautions such as encouraging people to use sanitisers when they enter the building, daily cleaning of the building and touched surfaces eg computers, stairs, tables etc with help from volunteers
  • wipe down books before delivery
  • wearing of gloves when handling or delivering books
  • have made keyboard wipes available
  • have provided hand towels & have plenty of liquid soap
  • exploring hygiene precautions to implement when they re-open to avoid future spread of the virus plus new sustainable approaches to delivering services in the community.  We would love to hear from you if you are doing this, it will be great to share your ideas/experiences with the Network. Contact

Where plans are being made for closure

  • Prepare information for staff, volunteers – this should be happening regularly with updates on the current situation, plans existing and the future (if available)
  • Plan for newsletters / posters just in case (with information about closure, returning & renewing books)
  • Plan communication for key contacts, suppliers, partners, organisations about the closure and returning
  • Conduct an organisational and financial impact assessment, this will help determine the impact of the crisis on the organisation, it will also inform plans/actions to be taken when business resumes. If you have tools you are using for these assessments and are willing to share to help others please email

Volunteers and Staff

The safety of volunteers, staff and our community is paramount and all actions or decisions we take should consider their health, wellbeing and safety.

Ensuring adequate support and communication for our volunteers and staff is important, and some CMLs are exploring ways to stay connected and engaged with older and more vulnerable volunteers when the building is closed. We have captured a few of those below (these ideas also apply to the community, library and service users):

  • Organise online events – these should be promoted through normal networks
  • Live streaming of events which people would normally access from the building eg drawing activities, activities for children, toddlers and babies, music events, digital inclusion, English classes
  • Delivery of books to people’s homes – mobile libraries
  • Online reading group activities
  • Regular e-newsletters and information on social media – to keep people updated, invite comments, ideas and offer encouragement
  • A series of topics suggested by staff, volunteers or the community which are then discussed or debated online eg via Skype
  • Setting up Whatsapp groups to stay connected with staff, volunteers and vulnerable groups in our community who use the library services
  • Putting up posters and information materials, signposting people to support organisations in the community or at national level who can help people who feel isolated, lonely or disconnected from family and friends
  • Find out about other activities taking place in your community, and share them online, on your website, social media or via newsletters.  We were sent this link of online cultural events that people can access whilst stuck at home and you may wish to signpost your colleagues, community/users to these events. How to

Daily Essentials

A trustee from one CML shared some interesting information about daily essentials particularly with so many people now emptying supermarket shelves.  If you or someone you know is interested in getting hold of surplus food that would otherwise be going to waste, you can download some of the apps below for further information:

Update on our CML Online Forum

Our online forum is taking shape nicely and we will let you know when it is ready so we can start using it to share our experiences, learning, ask questions and seek advice/support from our peers.

Thank you for your support and we will stay in touch.

The ‘Digital Lounge’ – a Case Study from Upper Norwood Library Hub, London

Hello Colleagues, hope you are well.

We are very keen to share stories and learning from other CMLs and would like to invite you to share some of the exciting work you are doing in your libraries and the community including stories, case studies and learning on the CML blog site. We are also keen to capture ideas for items to cover/discuss on our online forum once it is up and ready. If you would like to share any of the above with us, please email to

With this in mind, here is a collaborative initiative from the Upper Norwood Library Hub (UNLH) and Caspar Kennerdale who runs a local community business called ClearCommunityWeb in Crystal Palace London.  The case study relates to Digital Lounge which they set up in the Spring of 2019, the project is growing from strength to strength. The team would like to thank all the organisations (listed below) who support this initiative and the amazing volunteers, the community and service users.  Clear Community Web was recently awarded the ‘Best Community Fundamental Digital Skills Training Initiative – England’  by the Social Care Awards. Well done Caspar!

Upper Norwood Library Hub (UNLH) and ClearCommunityWeb – DIGITAL LOUNGE

What is ‘Digital Lounge’.? Digital Lounge supports people of all ages and backgrounds to be more digital savvy whilst socialising and building new friendships in the community. There are various elements to Digital Lounge, they include:-

‘Digital Skills for Seniors’ which runs every Tuesday, classes are currently oversubscribed.  Many of those who attend do not want to leave because they enjoy the warmth and exciting conversations they have whilst learning how to use the computer or tackle issues they have with their laptops, phones, tablets, IT security, fraud and more.   The photo below show one of the classes in session.

Digital Lounge

At the end of the case study you will find some brief stories and quotes from beneficiaries, it shows how the project supports social inclusion and better mental wellbeing.

Then there is the very popular ‘Tea and Tech’, which is part of the Digital Lounge offer.  Tea and Tech was developed closely with a local resident and volunteer, Lin, seen below with Caspar holding her very famous basket. Lin has worked tirelessly for many years as a volunteer and is committed to promoting social and community inclusion across all ages.

Digital Lounge 2

Tea and Tech is a social event with an average of over 25 attendees and volunteers. There is a combination of speakers, demonstrations and socialising to help people feel safer with the internet and their mobile phones whilst enjoying a cup of tea, sandwiches, fruits and the company of others. There is also an opportunity to try using a tablet for the first time. Tea and Tech has had tremendous support from Croydon Council and One Croydon Alliance, disability charity Leonard Cheshire who led a session on assistive technology,  AgeUK Lambeth, Centre 70, Croydon BME Forum, WayAhead, Paxton Green Time Bank, Kingswood Community Shop, Croydon Voluntary Action, Norwood Forum, U3A Norwood.

Another welcome addition to the Digital Lounge is a young person coding club – ‘Coder Dojo’ which regularly has an oversubscribed classroom with a 2:1 ratio of young people and volunteers/ mentors.

ClearCommunityWeb also offers network, web development and social media support, digital training and advice on a range of IT and communication tools. To find out more about UNLH and its activities, the Digital Lounge, Library of Things, then email or contact Caspar directly by phone 07523 646 277 or

You can also contact for further information about the CML National Peer Network or visit our website (we are working on content and an online forum).

Below are some quotes/case studies from beneficiaries

CASE STUDIES CASE STUDY 1: a senior resident with MS was given a mobile phone but had only ever used in for making calls. Over 3 sessions we set the phone up, texted for the first time and set up the Dial a Ride so she could track the location of drivers and felt a little safer.

CASE STUDY 2: Another local resident contacted us to help her younger brother – a male resident mid 30s with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. He comes on a weekly basis to help check for new housing opportunities (as he was recently made homeless but the council and is currently living in Queens hotel), to practice email to familiar members with the goal of starting to become more independent. His sister has commented that it is very unusual for him to keep appointments and stick to something so ‘we must be doing something right’.

CASE STUDY 3:  A senior resident & volunteer was helped to make purchasing decisions for a new mobile phone and pad to use both WhatsApp and Skype with the intention of being able to speak to her mother more regularly who in in poor health. She has subsequently gone out to Sri Lanka and ids teaching her mother how to use this for when she returns to the UK.

A Quote from a Beneficiary

“Far better no question is too basic which when learning computer skills is paramount. All classes and tech sessions are well run, very supportive and everyone learns a lot on a wide range of matters to include mobile phones and computers. All tech covered!”



More Funding Opportunities

Get ready for the Bright Ideas Fund!

Do you have a bright idea for a community business? Need a bit of help developing it and making it a reality? Then this is the fund for you.

The Bright Ideas Fund supports new community business ideas through the start-up and planning stages with tailored business support, to the implementation stage with grants of up to £15,000.

The fund reopens on Wednesday 26 February and will be open until Tuesday 7 April. Get a headstart on your application by using the template and questions in the Bright Ideas Fund Guidance notes to get prepared:

Cultural Impact Development Fund

A £3.7 million fund providing small-scale repayable finance to socially-driven arts, cultural and creative organisations:

Funding Opportunities which may be of Interest

  1. Aviva Community Fund open for applications for 2020 round (apply by 11 February 2020)

The Aviva Community Fund, set up by insurer Aviva, has announced its criteria and funding pot for 2020.   Small charities are invited to bid for a maximum of £50,000 each and funding will total £1m throughout the year. They will be expected to use this funding to “drive long-term sustainable success” and “make a life-changing impact”.

Alongside this funding, they have announced that they will provide digital and data support for charities through its digital Knowledge Library.   Applications are open until 11 February 2020. You can find out more and apply here

  1. UnLtd Thrive Accelerator fund (apply by 31 January 2020)

UnLtd has announced a new Thrive Accelearator fund help ambitious social ventures to grow. The fund will support 25 social ventures each year in two areas:

  • Improving access to employment for those distant from the labour market
  • Developing products and services for an ageing society.

The programme combines six months of intensive support with the opportunity to secure investment of up to £50,000 for your social venture, either through UnLtd or their partners. Applications close on 31 January 2020. Find out more and apply here.

  1. Active Communities 

Local groups and organisations with great ideas to make their communities even better places to live are invited to apply for funding to turn their ideas into reality.  Active Communities is a funding programme for community groups and not-for-profit organisations, with an income of less than £350,000 a year or an average of £350,000 over two years, seeking investment of between £5,000 and £40,000 for projects lasting up to two years. We’re looking for small and local projects, genuinely designed and run by local people. By small, we mean just a small group of people on an estate, in a few streets or villages. These ideas could be based in one neighbourhood, or cover a wider area, but they must live close enough to each other to meet up regularly.

We’re also looking for great ideas from communities of interest. By this we mean a group of people who have things in common and wish to come together to address something that is important to them. These ideas could be based in one neighbourhood, or cover a wider area.

​Applying couldn’t be easier. It’s an online process with a step by step guide from start to finish. Please note that to make sure our funds are distributed equitably, sometimes we will restrict the areas that are eligible to apply. ​Using money raised by society lotteries through The Health Lottery, Active Communities is currently open in the following areas:​

  • Health Lottery South West – January 2020 – Applications are now open in parts of Cornwall, North Somerset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and will close on 12 February at 1.00pm.

Active Communities is opening soon in the following areas:

  • Health Lottery West Midlands – March 2020 – We will be opening in parts of Walsall, Dudley, East Staffordshire, Wychavon, Malvern Hills, South Staffordshire and Stratford on Avon.
  • Health Lottery North East and Cumbria – April 2020 – Specific areas to be confirmed.
  • Health Lottery Yorkshire and Humber – May 2020 – Specific areas to be confirmed.

Please note that these are our planned openings but due to the nature of how we get our funding, these openings are subject to change.    Find out more


The Network’s New Web and Blog Sites and Updates

Happy New Year!  Hope you had restful breaks.

Our New Website

We are pleased to let you know we now have a new website where we will be posting our updates from now on.

You can access it here:

The website reflects our new brand and we will be sharing our vision for the Network and our range of services over the next few months.

When you visit the new site, please use the opportunity to sign up to the Network’s Newsletter if you are not already subscribed.

Blog Site

We will maintain this site for our archived stories but all new content will be on the new website.

Please share your journey, stories, learning and resources 

We would like to feature stories, learning and resources from CMLs across the country.

We welcome case studies or blogs about your libraries, volunteers, new ventures, projects you are working on/have completed, the learning and impact. This can be very helpful to other CMLs who may be thinking of or involved in similar activities.

Similarly if you have developed any useful resources which you feel will be of benefit to other CMLs please do share them with us by emailing

Funding Opportunity

A €50,000 challenge prize funded by the *AAL Programme is looking for solutions that support, empower and inspire older adults to engage in entrepreneurship. See below for the link to this opportunity:

*AAL is a European programme funding innovation that keeps us connected, healthy, active and happy into our old age.

Thank you and wishing you an excellent 2020.

Just so you know: Ericsson are still looking for charities to support!

Ericsson, the technology and communications company, are looking to match 300 volunteers with a range of charities. The employees will offer digital, marketing, IT and HR skills to name a few. There will also be the opportunity to acquire non skilled volunteers as well as fundraising.

This is your chance to gain the voluntary work that we know many organisations such as ours are in desperate need of.  If your CML would benefit from any or all of skills based volunteers, non-skills based volunteers, or fundraising opportunities then please get in touch – for further info and details of how to apply visit their WEBSITE.