The good news is that Bungay Library is secure for the next year and there is a great team working to ensure it stays that way for many years to come.
The bad news is that the future reach and quality of the county-wide service remains uncertain. Suffolk County Council have incorporated an Industrial Provident Society (IPS) to run the library service independently; the hope appears to be that this new arms-length organisation will be able to run the libraries more cheaply, more efficiently and with less bureaucracy and more accountability than was possible when the service was run directly by the County Council. But Bungay is very lucky that Sylvia Knights, who campaigned so hard to save Bungay Library, has been co-opted onto the first Board of the new IPS – she’ll be joining a committed group from across Suffolk with a great breadth of experience running public and private sector organisations (including libraries). If it can be made to work they will make it work. Well done Sylvia, and thank you for putting in so much time and effort – it really is appreciated.
Here in Bungay a cross-community library working group formed early last year, they’ve spent months developing plans that should ensure we have a library in Bungay for many years to come. Initially Suffolk County Council (SCC) had suggested that Bungay residents would have to find most if not all of the library running costs but by the end of 2011 (and after lots of active campaigning as well as quiet negotiating) SCC reduced the amount local communities would have to find to 5% of total running costs. This amounts to a around £1500 in the case of Bungay library – still a big chunk of money in difficult times, but a better position than we were in last February when it looked like the library would close for good.
This year Bungay library turns 20 and the Library Working Group are planning a series of events – they will need our ongoing support and we’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile this Sunday we’ll be unveiling a hand carved plaque commemorating the effort that went into creating the Library Courtyard Garden – it’ll happen at 2:30, do please join us and feel free to stay for a garden event afterwards (see below for details). JOSIAH MELDRUM
Sunday 19th: Plants for Life
Growing Organic Herbs – Sunday 19th February, 3pm – with David Wrenn plus mounting Commemorative Plaque, 2.30pm
This is the second of our monthly (medicine) Plants for Life series of talks, walks and workshops in 2012, running in conjunction with the Plant Medicine Bed at Bungay Library. This month we’ll be in conversation with David Wrenn of Orchard End Organics – everything you ever wanted to know about growing and tending Organic herbs that we can fit into an hour’s conversation!
Monday 20th: Happy Monday with the Community Kitchen
Happy Mondays with the Community Kitchen is a celebration of the best local and seasonal ingredients. But it will also offer opportunities for volunteers to build their kitchen confidence, learn about local suppliers and discover new recipes and ideas. We cook for 40 or 50 people once a month, this time we’re serving pancakes filled with leeks and mushrooms in a creamy white wine sauce, three winter salads with rhubarb cobbler for pudding.
You can find out more about Happy Mondays (and book your place) here
Tuesday 21st: Green Drinks
Green Drinks will make a welcome return on Tuesday after a break over Christmas. It’ll will follow the usual relaxed format and we’re inviting expert conversationalists who can answer our questions about a specific subject, or steer our discussions along fruitful paths.
The first evening of the New Year will focus on sharing as a practical way of better using resources, building stronger communities and saving money. Sophie Garrett, founder of Yours to Share, will talk to us about the benefits of co-working, car sharing, land sharing and other forms of ‘fractional’ ownership.
Please do join us (7:30pm, Green Dragon), you can find out more about the evening here