Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Fundraising success

Over a year ago now, we held a fundraising gig to raise money to support Arbury Library. The evening, which featured local bands Sugarbeat and Swamp Truck, was a great success, and we raised over £700. It's been some time in the organising, but we're now able to tell you how that money has helped the library.

When we first set about organising the benefit, there was an unclear future for the popular Storytime sessions, which regularly run in the library for two to five-year-olds. We initially planned to use the cash to keep Storytime running, but we're delighted to say that funding has continued for this service, meaning we were able to spend the cash elsewhere. However, because we originally put the gig together to support this service for children, we thought it was important that the bulk of the money went to support the children's area of the library.

Over the last few months, we've been able to purchase:
  • three sets of books for the Read it Again! programme
  • several new poufs for the children's section to replace some of those that were worn out
  • a large 'dragon' rug for the children's section
  • noticeboards for the library entrance, so staff can display notices outside of opening hours
There's a little left in the kitty to help support the library in future, and we may well be looking to top this up with other events further down the line. We'll use this space to tell you about these as and when they happen.

If you're a regular visitor to the library, and especially if you have children, you may well have spotted some of these new additions. We wouldn't have been able to fund these items without those of you who helped us raise the money in the first place, including everyone who turned up to the gig and of course the bands who gave up their time to help make the night a success. Thank you!

Monday, 4 February 2013

National Libraries Day: use it or lose it!

This Saturday is National Libraries Day, part of a celebration of libraries all over the UK - and that seems like the perfect time to remind people to pay a visit to Arbury Court Library... or better still, join us for a protest!

In recent months our library has seen its share of cuts, yet it remains a valuable space at the heart of our community, with friendly, helpful staff, a range of books for children and adults, computer facilities and a host of other resources. Sadly, as recent media reports have shown, visitor numbers have dropped in the last year from 42,000 a year to 30,000 - at the same time as its budget, opening hours and staff numbers have all been reduced.

We know our community loves its library and wants it to stay - that was proved in 2010, when hundreds of you signed a petition to protect the branch, and again just last month when gig-goers helped us raise more than £800 for the library at two events. Now we're calling on people to help the library again, in one of two ways:

  1. Join us on National Libraries Day for a protest against the recent cuts to our library provision. FOAL members will gather outside the library at 10.30am on Saturday 9 February to make our voices heard, and we'd love to see you there too.
  2. Pay Arbury Court Library a visit. The more people walk through its doors, the better we can show just how loved and needed it is, and the stronger our case is for protecting it. As the age-old saying goes: use it or lose it!
FOAL is currently exploring ways to use our recently-raised funds to add extra facilities to enhance the library, and we look forward to sharing those with you soon. In the meantime, why not use National Libraries Day as a reason to pop in and see what it already has to offer? The branch is open from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, or for a full list of opening hours, visit Cambridgeshire County Council's website.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Fundraiser with Sugarbeat and Swamp Truck, 18 January

We're very proud to be hosting a corker of a fundraising gig this month with two great local bands, Sugarbeat and Swamp Truck. All profits from the event, which takes place on Friday 18 January at the Portland Arms, will go to support activities at Arbury Court Library.

Sugarbeat are Cambridge's premier punk pop covers band, playing foot-stomping classics including anything from The Sonics to Ceelo Green via The Buzzcocks, Talking Heads, Orange Juice, The Killers and Miles Kane - guaranteed to get people dancing. Southern rockers Swamp Truck are a Cambridge-based five-piece playing good time tunes from the likes of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams and Steelers Wheel. Expect a night of cracking tunes and great fun, and all in support of your favourite library.

The gig starts at 7.30pm on Friday 18 January at the Portland Arms in Chesterton Road, Cambridge. Tickets cost £5 and can be bought on the door or in advance from www.greenmind.co.uk. We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Uncover the secrets of science at Arbury Court Library

A hands-on science exhibition is to visit Arbury Court Library this summer.

Visitors will have the chance to explore the secrets of light, electricity, magnetism and the microscopic world as part of Science Lab, a touring exhibit that will be hosted at the branch from 11-30 August.

The exhibition, which also includes a series of science shows and workshops, will also visit ten other libraries in the county as part of a project from The Cambridge Science Centre and Cambridgeshire Libraries.

To find out more about the project, visit the Science Lab website - and to help plan your visit, you can check Arbury Court Library's opening times here.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Arbury Carnival: we need your books!

The Friends of Arbury Library will once again be running a book stall at Arbury Carnival this year.

If you have any second-hand books you would like to donate for the stall, please get in touch on thefriendsofarburylibrary@gmail.com. Children's books would be especially welcome!

If you're attending the carnival, which takes place on Saturday 9 June, please drop in at our stall and say hello. For more information about the event visit www.arburycarnival.org

Monday, 14 May 2012

Strawberry Fair Launch First Slam Poetry Competition For Age 13 - 25 Across Cambridgeshire


Strawberry Fair has launched the first poetry slam competition for young people age 13 - 25 from across Cambridgeshire.  The competition is free to enter and prizes include a prime performance slot at the Fair and opportunities to be mentored by critically acclaimed poets.

If you write poetry, love poetry and want to share your poetry, then we would love to hear from you.  You can use beatbox, rap, mc-ing, polyvocal or acapella, as well as poetry and spoken word.  All you need to do to enter is:

  1. Go to www.strawberry-slam.org.uk
  2. Follow the instructions to post a clip of yourself reading or reciting your poem.
  3. Wait to hear whether you have been selected as one of 12 finalists to go through to compete in the Strawberry Slam final on Saturday 2 June.

Deadline for entries: Saturday 26 May 2012

The entries will be judged by five professional poets from London’s Point Blank Poets Collective and the 12 finalists will be announced on Tuesday 29 May.  The final will be held in the brand new Strawberry Slam stage at the Fair on Saturday 2 June, 7 - 10pm.  The Slam will be hosted by the formidable Hollie McNish (a former UK Slam Poetry Champion) and emcee Inja, with guest performances from renowned spoken word artists Bridget Minamore, Sabrina Mahfouz, Dean Atta and Deanna Rodger.

Competition Rules:    

  • Entrants must be aged 13 – 25 years
  • Poems must be your own work.
  • Poems must be no longer than 2 minutes in length when read aloud
  • You can enter in groups / crews as well as on your own (up to five people allowed in a group)
  • You can use beatbox, rap, mc-ing, polyvocal and acapella, as well as poetry and spoken word
  • You can read your poetry from the page or recite it from heart
  • You must be available on 2 June 2010, 7 – 8.30pm to compete in the final Strawberry Slam.
To find out more visit www.strawberry-slam.org.uk or get in touch with amy@strawberry-fair.org.uk

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Public meeting & AGM: Wed 29 Feb

Users of Arbury Court Library are invited to attend a public meeting to discuss the library’s future next week.

The meeting – titled ‘What next for our Library?’ – will take place at Arbury Community Centre on Wednesday, 29 February at 7pm.

Speakers include Christine May, Head of Cambridgeshire Libraries, and Ben Slade, Principal of the Manor School.

The public meeting will be followed by FOAL’s annual general meeting, and anyone who wishes to join the group will be able to sign up on the night.