Pulse editor Phoebe Seymour with Christmas card competition winners Rosie Hobson and Jack Foster
As part of RMC Media’s 30th anniversary celebrations, Phoebe Seymour steps up to offer her services to a local cause
To celebrate 30 years of publishing, staff at RMC Media, which publish a long list of magazine titles including Pulse, decided to take this chance to make a difference by volunteering our time to local charities and causes. The challenge is aptly called 30 Happy Returns.
As the editor of Pulse, I could think of few better causes than Ecclesfield Library, where I spent a day helping out.
Ecclesfield Library is one of many libraries in Sheffield that will soon be without funding from the city council and which now solely employs volunteers. As sad as this sounds, the volunteers are very positive about the future of the library and the enthusiastic team have breathed life into a resource that is believed to be on its last legs.
The red-stickered books have always been here and belong to the central library. Realising that once locals read these books there would be no reason for them to return, the team launched a yellow sticker scheme, where new books are constantly coming in. These books are mostly donated by individuals, but there are businesses who take part too. One yellow sticker for example says, “Donated by Tesco.”
I also learnt that locals use the space for so much more. Regular group sessions such as the toddler group are hosted here from 10am until 11.30am on Fridays, a book group use the space on the second Monday of each month, whilst a local history group come here on the last Wednesday of the month.
There are many more special events lined up too. From Creative Writer to Independent Author is a fringe event as part of Sheffield’s Off The Shelf Festival.
The library also tries to involve local schools as much as possible. Rosie Hobson, 6, from Monteney Primary School and Jack Foster, 7, from Ecclesfield Primary School won the Children’s Christmas Tree Painting competition last year, and their designs have been printed onto Christmas cards to be sold in library. A pack of six is £2 (three of each design) and all proceeds go back into the running of the library.
You may think libraries are close to extinction, but my time at Ecclefield Library certainly showed me otherwise. Whether you need to browse the web, want to join a community group or are in need of a new venue for your own, this resource is still very much alive.
If you’d like to volunteer your time or skills to Ecclesfield Library, visit their website here or call 0114 246 3615.
Author of In Search of Emily Bronte, Nick Holland will be sharing his publishing experiences and discussing his work from 1pm on 22 October for Off The Shelf fringe event, From Creative Writer to Independent Author. Tickets are free, but donations are welcomed.