Volunteers step up to keep Leigh Library open

Echo: Some of the volunteers who have offered their help to Leigh Library Some of the volunteers who have offered their help to Leigh Library

VOLUNTEERS could be helping to run Leigh Library by the autumn after almost 30 people stepped forward at a public meeting.

Southend Council hopes to have enough volunteers to keep one paid librarian at any one time in the Grade II listed building, in Broadway West, after people signed up at a meeting on Monday.

The council hopes to begin training volunteers by the beginning of May, with them in post by the end of the summer or beginning of the autumn.

Volunteers must contribute up to 80 hours between them a week, with the council keeping on three or four paid staff.

Volunteer Bridget Morriss, 76, from Leigh, said: “It would be a tragedy if it closed. I’m more than happy to make any contribution I can.”

Leigh Library has split its staffing budget with Kent Elms Library as part of a shake-up of the library service designed to save £378,000 over three years.

Volunteers will sort books, perform admin tasks and help customers use computers.

Simon May, the council’s library services manager, said: “We expect to need 60 to 80 hours of volunteer time a week, which doesn’t seem a great amount.

“We expect it to work if peoplework with us. We need to make sure the answer we have works for Leigh.”

Nick Harris, head of culture, said: “There is strong commitment from people I have spoken to. They are keen to get involved, value the library service and support its future through volunteering.”

Comments (6)

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8:06am Thu 13 Feb 14

You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat says...

Hope it's run properly with accountability, as the trouble all so often with volunteers, they do tend to remind every one, of how they are all doing us a favour...
Hope it's run properly with accountability, as the trouble all so often with volunteers, they do tend to remind every one, of how they are all doing us a favour... You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat
  • Score: -3

6:21pm Thu 13 Feb 14

jolllyboy says...

What happened to the 100 they said would do it.
I hope they enjoy putting someone out of a job.
Maybe they are happy to see our council tax going on unnecessary items whilst librarians and children's centres close.
What happened to the 100 they said would do it. I hope they enjoy putting someone out of a job. Maybe they are happy to see our council tax going on unnecessary items whilst librarians and children's centres close. jolllyboy
  • Score: -2

3:58pm Sat 15 Feb 14

keepchavsincages says...

Message to You'dfeelbetterforkn
owingthat and jollyboy: I am one of THOSE volunteers you both speak of in such a disparaging and negative manner. I am absolutely sure that it will be run with accountability and l'd just like to put yuour severely troubled mind at ease by assuring you that l volunteer for several organisations in the Southend area and l most certainly do NOT remind everyone of what a favour l am doing them! No, l do my voluntary work happily and with enormous enthusiasm. From that l get a wonderful feeling of helping out good causes without banging on about it!

Mr Jollyboy (you're being ironic, right? I suspect so as you do NOT sound the jolliest individual. I do not know what happened to the 100 who said they would do it and l take exception to you insinuating that l, and the other volunteers are enjoying putting someone out of a job. Were you actually aware that one f the libraries - Kent Elms or Leigh - was going to be reduced to one with the Council cuts? And maybe you could kindly explain to me what you mean by us volunteers being .'happy to see our council tax going on unnecessary items whilst librarians and children's centres close.' ? I'm just trying to help the community by volunteering my help and l've made it abundantly clear that, if required, l will volunteer at any of the four libraries
If neither of you have anything constructive to say then l suggest you crawl away or, maybe, volunteer your own services? No? Ah well......
Message to You'dfeelbetterforkn owingthat and jollyboy: I am one of THOSE volunteers you both speak of in such a disparaging and negative manner. I am absolutely sure that it will be run with accountability and l'd just like to put yuour severely troubled mind at ease by assuring you that l volunteer for several organisations in the Southend area and l most certainly do NOT remind everyone of what a favour l am doing them! No, l do my voluntary work happily and with enormous enthusiasm. From that l get a wonderful feeling of helping out good causes without banging on about it! Mr Jollyboy (you're being ironic, right? I suspect so as you do NOT sound the jolliest individual. I do not know what happened to the 100 who said they would do it and l take exception to you insinuating that l, and the other volunteers are enjoying putting someone out of a job. Were you actually aware that one f the libraries - Kent Elms or Leigh - was going to be reduced to one with the Council cuts? And maybe you could kindly explain to me what you mean by us volunteers being .'happy to see our council tax going on unnecessary items whilst librarians and children's centres close.' ? I'm just trying to help the community by volunteering my help and l've made it abundantly clear that, if required, l will volunteer at any of the four libraries If neither of you have anything constructive to say then l suggest you crawl away or, maybe, volunteer your own services? No? Ah well...... keepchavsincages
  • Score: 1

7:54pm Sun 16 Feb 14

jubbly says...

Well done to 'Keepchavsincages' - there should be more people like you who are willing to help out in the Community without being paid for it. There are no people being put out of jobs because of the volunteers - so all the moaners should get their facts right before commenting. What are you all doing to help the Community ? - Not a lot I expect - just complaining about what others are doing to help. Get a life !!!!
Well done to 'Keepchavsincages' - there should be more people like you who are willing to help out in the Community without being paid for it. There are no people being put out of jobs because of the volunteers - so all the moaners should get their facts right before commenting. What are you all doing to help the Community ? - Not a lot I expect - just complaining about what others are doing to help. Get a life !!!! jubbly
  • Score: 1

10:59pm Sun 16 Feb 14

clairella says...

jubbly says..."There are no people being put out of jobs because of volunteers".....don'
t know where u get your information but it most certainly is NOT correct......
jubbly says..."There are no people being put out of jobs because of volunteers".....don' t know where u get your information but it most certainly is NOT correct...... clairella
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Tue 18 Feb 14

jubbly says...

Clairella - I was told in good faith that NO Librarian would be put out of a job - this was told to me by a Librarian themself- have you heard differently if so I would like to know as this would not be right - the Volunteers were definitely given this information that no-one would lose their jobs.
Clairella - I was told in good faith that NO Librarian would be put out of a job - this was told to me by a Librarian themself- have you heard differently if so I would like to know as this would not be right - the Volunteers were definitely given this information that no-one would lose their jobs. jubbly
  • Score: 1

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