This January marks ten years since Minchinhampton Library was reopened as a community library, and it has gone from strength to strength each year since.
A special birthday party was held on Saturday, and a huge cake in the shape of a book was cut by award-winning author Rachel Joyce, who wrote bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, The Music Shop, and Miss Benson’s Beetle, as well as a collection of interlinked short stories, A Snow Garden & Other Stories.
A major film, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (parts of which were filmed on Minchinhampton Common) starring Jim Broadbent and Penelope Wilton will be released soon, for which Rachel also wrote the screenplay.
Chair of trustees, Michelle Handoll, said: “It’s a really nice celebration of all the hard work that the volunteers have put into running a community library, otherwise it would have closed many, many years ago and I know everyone in the village appreciates the library.
“We have joined Gloucestershire County Libraries in offering their Warm and Welcome scheme. Anyone is very welcome to come along to stay warm, use our computers and wi-fi, recharge their phone or laptop, try a jigsaw puzzle, play a game, and in the mornings we have hot drinks available.”
Minchinhampton Community Library is run by Minchinhampton Community Library Trust Ltd, an independent charity and staffed entirely by local volunteers to serve the information and learning needs of Minchinhampton Parish and surrounding areas.
Since running the library, the Trust has been able to improve not only the volume of books for users, by purchase and many generous donations, but also maintain and enhance the library building and grounds.
The library lends approximately 14,000 books per year. Of the eight community libraries in Gloucestershire, Minchinhampton regularly lends the most adult fiction books with children/teen books a close second.