February 2023 saw nearly all records being broken at Share Bristol, following a huge amount of interest in a second library in BS3.
Last month we shared the news that we are hoping to bring a Library of Things to Bedminster. Our press release certainly caused a stir, with the email inbox getting a bit busy! Sorry if it took longer than usual for us to respond, we were a bit overwhelmed with all the attention for a little while, as we are just a team of volunteers plus our 15 hour a week Library Manager (Abi).
We have been looking for new volunteer Directors to join the team though to give us a bit more capacity, and the level of interest prompted quite a few applications (keep an eye on the About Us webpage for news on that soon!). We’re still looking for a finance lead and a marketing expert though, so do pass it on to anyone you know with those skills.
We were so pleased to see the reaction to the possibility of a Library of Things in Bedminster – we received offers of help, volunteer applications, donations of things, even people offering premises! We know the Library of Things concept makes sense on every level, but it’s always wonderful when other people agree!
The surge in media attention also brought more people to our existing Library in Kingswood.
February saw a record 129 people pop in to see the team to find out what it’s all about, and 35 new members signing up – smashing the previous record of 26 back in July 2021, shortly after we opened. The Library now has well over 200 members, still small but growing every month, who borrowed more items last month than ever before.
Bizarrely, the most popular items borrowed in February were cake stands! One member (one of our volunteer Directors, Anna) borrowed all nine of them for a charity cake sale, which ended up raising £4,100 for Great Western Air Ambulance Charity! If anyone fancies running a cake sale like that for us then sign us up now!
In second and third place were the more traditional drills and pressure washers – usually some of the most popular items. However, carpet cleaners are also in hot demand at the moment – lots of spring cleaning underway!
We really hope that interest in Share Bristol and the Library of Things movement continues to grow, as we rely almost entirely on membership income to run.
This month we’re launching a Crowdfunder with the support of Aviva Community Fund, hoping to raise thousands towards opening the BS3 branch. Each donation can be used to pay for membership of the library in future, and thanks to Aviva each donation is doubled! Watch this space for more details.