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Burton Latimer Library - latest news

6th November 2019

Burton Latimer library

6th November 2019

Further progress is being made with the legal and financial processes involved in purchasing the Library. Diane Batey, Chair of Friends of Burton Latimer Library reports that, “We are aiming to complete by the end of January 2020, but the exact date will be determined by the speed at which the legal work progresses. Recruitment for library staff will begin soon.”

The town council and Friends of the Library have worked with the Wellingborough Library Manager and Community Managed Library Coordinators to reinstate the Rhymetime and Bounce & Rhyme sessions for the Under 5s, which were recently withdrawn by Northamptonshire County Council. These start again on Thursday 7th November. “Initially they are being run by our librarian Michelle Brightwell,” adds Diane, “but two volunteers are being trained to continue them in the long term.”

Volunteers are continuing to work hard to keep the Library open at lunchtimes and on Saturday mornings. “We are delighted to have had some new recruits join us and are always happy to welcome new volunteers as we value all the help that they are giving,” adds Diane. Please contact Linda Gregory (tel: 07944 083170, or email: if you are interested.

In a new initiative, the Friends of the Library are working with Sam Tallant, Burton Latimer’s recently-appointed Social Prescribing Link Worker, to investigate ways that the library can be developed as a hub for health and wellbeing in the community.

The Friends will be having a Christmas themed Coffee Morning on Saturday 14th December 10.30 – 11.30am at which St Mary’s Church Community Choir will be performing some Carols and Christmas songs. All are welcome.

16th September 2019

Northamptonshire County Council is no longer able to provide staff for Saturday opening, so from 21st September the Friends of Burton Latimer Library are kindly providing volunteers to open it for two hours from 10am to 12noon.

The self service machines and printer/photocopier will be available during this time, but not the computers – and sadly, our volunteers are still unable to access the staff computer for ordering books.

Please bring correct cash for any purchases and/or change for the printer, as volunteers cannot access the till.

Thank you for your continued support of our library.

If you would like to offer your services as a volunteer, please contact Councillor Linda Gregory on 07944 083170 or email

7th September 2019

The Friends of Burton Latimer Library are pleased to report that progress is being made towards the purchase of the library by Burton Latimer Town Council (BLTC) from Northamptonshire County Council (NCC).

In her latest update Friends of the Library Chair Diane Batey notes: “Although things are not moving as swiftly as we would like, we are continuing to do our best to maintain a comprehensive library service and provide activities for Under 5s.”

Diane also stresses that – contrary to rumour – the library is not closing. “Services may be constrained in the short term,” she says, “but in the long term we hope to have a revamped, revitalised and professionally-staffed library, which is owned and run by BLTC for the people of Burton Latimer.”

The Business Plan put together by BLTC and representatives of the Friends of the Library has been officially accepted, and the legal processes regarding the purchase of the building and contracts for the library service have begun. The speed at which these proceed is very much governed by NCC, but the town council is making every effort to expedite matters.

In the meantime, the library remains open as much as possible – but this depends on staff availability. “Sadly, the number of staff currently employed by NCC is not enough to cover all its libraries while the transition of many of them (including ours) to ‘Community Managed’ status takes place,” says Diane. “So at the moment, this means we only have one member of staff based in Burton Latimer Library, with others supplied by Wellingborough.”

To cope with the staffing situation, the library is currently closed on alternate Saturdays – but other ad hoc closures may be necessary at times due to staff sickness, or when Wellingborough cannot send a member of staff over. The daytime pressure is eased to some extent by having a team of volunteers who hold the fort from 1pm to 2pm every weekday so that the staff member can have a lunch break.

In fact, the library continues to rely heavily on its dedicated and loyal band of volunteers to keep things going – and is always keen to recruit new helpers. “We are gradually receiving training from NCC,” says Diane, “but we are also learning as we go and are very thankful to the library users for their patience with us as we do so. Sadly, we do not yet have access to the library management computer system, so we are limited in what we can do – but we are trying very hard to compensate with good old-fashioned pen and paper!”

In a further setback, the library heard this week that it will no longer be provided with some of the sessions for under 5s due to the re-organisation of NCC Children’s services. “This is a big blow,” says Diane, “but we hope that we will have volunteers trained to lead these sessions in the future – so please bear with us while we investigate our options.”

The Friends of Burton Latimer Library will be holding their AGM at a coffee morning at 10.30am on Saturday 14th September in the library. Members of the public are welcome to attend to hear the most recent updates and to ask questions – and perhaps, even to join the Friends in their commitment to support the library. Further information about the Friends is available from their Facebook page.

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