From May 2018 on a phased transfer, Direct Help and Advice and The Derby Law Centre will manage ten of Derby City Council's libraries as Community Managed Libraries (CMLs). CMLs are run by community and voluntary sector organisations and rely on volunteers from the local community to deliver core library services and a range of other services and activities. This ensures that local people have a say in what is needed and offered at their local library and can contribute to it's success.
As a well-established local charity, Direct Help and Advice and The Derby Law Centre continuously looks to develop our services to address the growing needs of our communities and embed them locally to make them more accessible to people and this is why we opted to bid for the ten libraries.
We have formed a Community Libraries Partnership comprising of voluntary and public sector delivery partners who are supporting us in our mission to retain, expand and increase the diversity and uptake of library services in Derby. Community Action Derby is a key partner and is leading on the recruitment, training, support and retention of volunteers, whilst Citizens Advice South Derbyshire and City, another key partner has moved into Sinfin Library to deliver their services more locally whilst also supporting the delivery of library services through volunteers. Our other partners include Derbyshire Community Bank and the University of Derby and we are linking with new organisations all the time as the initiative progresses.
We are also setting up 'Friends of Libraries' Steering Groups for all ten libraries and membership is open to any individual from each local area who is interested or already involved in supporting the library. Action plans based on local consultation and the national priorities for libraries are being developed and implemented for each area to ensure each library responds to local need whilst continuing to provide core library services.
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