A new Friends of Central Library has been set up in West Bromwich in a bid to raise more money for special occasions - and to highlight the multitude of services provided at the library.
Deputy council leader Councillor Syeda Khatun officially launched the new group at the library on the High Street with staff and Friends. She said:
"I am very pleased to hear of the setting up of this group of people to promote the services of this very fine library. The group will work to help to increase the number of visits to the Central Library by promoting the usual functions of the library such as books, especially children’s books and the extensive reference section.
"We also want to highlight the availability of audio books, CDs and DVDs as well as the availability of the library's cafe and meeting rooms and a wide range of special events.”
Chair of the newly-formed Friends Group, Jim Wells, added: “We currently have a strong group of members but want to recruit more.
“We’re looking for people who can help out at the many special events that the library organises. It’s up to you how much time you choose to spend as a Friend, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a couple of hours every week on a regular basis or just once a month.
“You can use your existing skills or develop new ones – for example you could volunteer to work in our café and learn how to be a barista.”
The attractive building alongside the Town Hall has been serving the needs of the public for well over 100 years and has the largest and most varied stock of any library in the borough.
There are thousands of books, fact and fiction and books on CD, MPS, audio tape and in large print. There is also a Learning Centre, which offers free access to the internet on a large number of computers and a well-stocked children's area, which is home to regular activities, especially during school holidays.
Staff have also opened dedicated quiet zones, with magazines and newspapers and a recent addition has been the Cafe Central, run by 'Action for Children' volunteers which is open on weekdays from 10am-2pm.
To find out more about becoming a Friend of Central Library, call 0121 569 4904 or follow 'Friends of Central Library West Bromwich' on Facebook.