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Libraries and community engagement: Bury Metro Outreach Library Service

Public libraries have a unique role in the centre of their local communities and are a great place to get people involved in local life, through volunteering, working with disadvanatges groups and participation in running services.

Bury Metro Outreach Library Service has attracted national attention as an example of best practise, creating a network of small libraries, often based in other buildings and involving partners such as community associations (groups). Volunteers work with staff and are used extensively, and activities run for all ages by and for the local people.

Each community is different, so each library is different. Notable examples include:

  • Tenants and Residents Association where the library is run by a Partnership with representatives of the Residents Association

  • Castle Sport and Leisure Library, very close to Bury Central Library but attracting a different audience of leisure centre users

  • Sedgley Park, based in a church but successfully attracting customers from the significant Jewish and Muslim local communites.

And the impact? Hannah, aged 13 from Topping Fold,

It has been good to have the library as it gives us something to do ... Before we had the library, we used to just hang around and we got bored then we started arguing and sometimes I even got into fights. Going to the library has helped me keep out of trouble ... we have also learned a lot of new things at the youth group and had an opportunity to try things we never do at home or at school.

Please find below the Bury Metro Outreach Library Position Statement, January 2006, kindly provided by Bury Metro. This decribes their work to date in detail and identifies the key success factors in theor work. Well done Bury!

Related Documents:

Topping Fold Position Statement
OutreachLibraryServicePositionPaper-January2006.pdf (920 KB)  

St George's Hall, Liverpool Stockton Heath Library
Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester

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