Guidance

Community managed libraries: good practice toolkit

This good practice guide, produced by the Libraries Taskforce, (with contributions from community managed libraries) is for people who are running, or considering establishing community libraries.

Documents

Diagram 1: Considering community libraries

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Diagram 2: setting up a community managed library

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Diagram 3: successfully operating a community managed library

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Sample agreement between Dorset County Council and community organisations

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Sample Service Level Agreement

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Sample volunteer application form

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Sample volunteer expense claim form

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Sample volunteer role description - volunteer library assistant

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Sample volunteer care plan

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Sample volunteering policy and agreement

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Sample health and safety induction checklist

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Sample volunteer training checklist

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Details

This toolkit, produced by the Libraries Taskforce is for:

  • heads of library services who are:
    • considering transformational projects involving increased participation of community volunteers and organisations in delivering their library service
    • supporting communities considering taking over or establishing a community managed library
    • supporting a community managed library that is council led
  • communities who are looking to establish community managed libraries

The Taskforce believes that the involvement of volunteers in supporting paid staff in running public libraries can be valuable in augmenting services available and ensuring close collaboration and engagement between public libraries and the community. The Taskforce does not endorse community managed libraries with no support from the local council.

We recognise that some councils, for various reasons, are considering a range of different models for community involvement and some already have implemented them. We want to ensure that, if this path is followed, all parties involved make informed decisions: understanding the pros and cons and learning from others who have gone before, so a high quality service is provided to local people.

We are always looking to improve our toolkits. Please let us know what you think by using the feedback button at the bottom of the page (or any of the case study pages). Alternatively please email librariestaskforce@culture.gov.uk.

Published 23 March 2016
Last updated 20 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Revised toolkit published
  2. Chalfont St Giles checklist and Sutton consultation case study added
  3. New case studies added - Harbury Village Library and Frecheville library
  4. Sheffield case studies added
  5. Gloucestershire case studies added
  6. First published.