Bake and Book Sale!

As some visitors to the library will have noticed, there’s no ringing of telephones and we also have a huge spread of donated books…  These things are not unrelated, so read please read on.

If you don’t have a landline to connect to a conventional telephone, library users who are not online cannot easily access the books in the library, particularly if they are house-bound.  The other drawback is that our current wireless internet access (which supplies our book database and other things) can only support a half-dozen computers.  This would be OK if we were hoping to only match the service you’ve seen in the library before but we’re not.  We want to offer up to a dozen computers so that members of the public can come in and get training on how to use the internet safely.  We want to offer a code academy so that children – and those hoping to return to work – can gain new skills that are relevant to the changing job market.  All these things require a good fixed-line connection.

Though the library has re-opened under the management of a charity, we would still be charged as a business to get connected to the UK telephone network.  But, I hear you say, a single phoneline is no different whether it serves a charity or a home… however, having spoken to Virgin and other telecoms providers, BT controls all the landlines in Kinghorn, we’re doing another fundraiser because we want to make our library useful to more folk than those who currently use it.

So, recognising that not everyone wants to buy a second-hand book, we’re going to bribe you with cake.  Lots of cake.  The pricing will be the same as for the books: you donate what you think the cake is worth.

After the event, all the books will be moved on to other charities.  With the left-side of the library cleared, we will be able to install the computers for public use and we will move into ‘phase three’ of opening the library to the community (yes, we have a plan).

Saturday 23 September, 10am – noon… Cake, lots of cake!

Official launch this Sunday

We will officially launch on Sunday 3 September at midday.  The Sunday opening is a one-off – an attempt to get as many people together as possible.

For the time being, we will continue to open on just a few days a week as we continue to train volunteers and to get people used to the idea that the library is open again.

Tuesday 10am – 1pm then 3 – 7pm

Friday 10am – 1pm then 3 – 5pm

In the next couple of weeks, we will begin to open on Saturday mornings and then later, the other days of the week.

As a volunteer-run organisation, we have to strike a balance between our volunteer’s personal lives and their commitment to maintaining the library for the rest of the community.  In other words, we need more volunteers!

We also need funding but are not sitting about with big bowls waiting for folk to notice us: we are actively developing projects.  We also – perhaps uniquely for a library – are offering a book-ordering service.  The idea is simple.  Unlike a certain online retailer who steals the wealth from our communities using aggressive tax avoidance schemes, buying your books from us will ensure that all proceeds of the sale remain in our community.  As with other charities registered with OSCR, if we have a surplus, we are constitutionally bound to place the money with our local charitable projects.

We almost lost the library once but seeing the excitement of the children visiting us during our ‘soft launch’ phase over the past couple of weeks has reminded us why we’ve worked so hard to get our library open again.  The investment of time, money and books has been worht it and we hope you will continue to support this great asset.

Open Gardens Kinghorn 2017

Members of Kinghorn in Bloom are opening their gardens to the public this Sunday – 18th June – from noon ’til 4.30pm.

The community doesn’t get to look so good on it’s own account or even because Fife Council has lifted the proverbial finger: that Kinghorn looks so good all year round is entirely down to a small team of volunteers. This year, proceeds from the open garden day are going to some good causes including ourselves, Kinghorn Library Renewed.

If you’d like to come along, ticket-maps are available in advance from The Carousel (Pettycur Road) for £5. The Carousel will also be hosting a plant sale on the day itself. Long-range forecasts predict a warm, sunny day – not too hot – but refreshments will be available along the trail.

It would be great to see you all there!

ISBN-13 Batch Converter

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If you’re new to Bookland, especially if you’ve never worked in a bookshop or library, the whole business of cataloging books might seem a bit daunting.  If you’re a small library, why don’t we just put it on the shelf and rely on people’s honesty?  (Oh, bless you).

There’s a number of ways of recording what you’ve got on the shelf, what you’ve lent to readers and what’s due back (and unfortunately, what’s been lost as part of a ‘five-finger discount‘).  If people are asking for something that you’re sure is on the shelf but can’t find it…

Learning what MARC is can be daunting if you’re not a librarian but most book cataloging systems will accept ISBNs (and let’s be honest, if it’s good enough for a bookshop then it’s going to be good enough for a small library with less than 10 thousand books).  Assuming that you’ve decided to do what bookshops do – and why wouldn’t you?  The ISBN’s not only on the inside of the title page (usually) but has a nice, handy barcode printed on the back – then you’ve only got to decide which catalog system to use (we’re using TinyCat).

Decision made, your next step is to upload all your ISBNs into your database.  But wait?  Some of the books have 10-digit codes and other have 13… If this happens, it’s because some generous old soul (or maybe your until-recently-local-authority-managed-library) has given you a book that was printed before 2005.  Ah.

Now Andrew is no expert Excel spreadsheet programmer (in fact, he doesn’t use that Microsoft stuff) but he has produced an ISBN-13 Batch Converter.  Rather than type your 10-digit ISBNs one-by-one into this helpful web-page, you can simply enter them in bulk into a spreadsheet you can get from us by going to the Contact Form and telling us who you are.  The spreadsheet is free to use and includes notes on how it works.  We’d put the spreadsheet online but then it might pick up malware and you don’t want that.

Additionally, some of the books may not have barcodes you can scan, in which case, go to these nice people and select ‘ISBN’ from the drop-down menu at the top left.

Last, if you’re not using a barcode scanner then it’s time you joined the 21st century and assuming that you’re using a computer with a USB port, we’re using something like this (not that we want to promote sales through this company but alternatives are available).

Library outreach

Trustees from Kinghorn Library Renewed were last night showcasing some of what we’ve been getting up to with the library as part of the parent’s evening at Kinghorn Primary School.

Catherine set up a stall (see above) that was very creatively put together and some very positive conversations were had about future fund-raising and engaging children in reading activities.

Part of these conversations were on the non-progress of ‘lease’ negotiations.

It’s not a ‘lease’ council people, it’s a license to occupy: we’re voluntarily taking over the running of a service – using our own money and whatever we raise through charitable activity – to replace what you withdrew and for which you invited project plans for ‘Alternative Service Provision’ (your words, not ours).  The withdrawal of funding for our library was not an excuse to tax us twice by trying to force us to assume responsibility for a publicly-owned Category-B listed building including paying you for insurance premiums the cost of which have already been met through the notices on increases in local taxes that dropped through our letterboxes this week.

To find out more about this – and other things achieved so far – parents can speak to one of our trustees at the next parent’s evening on Tuesday 21 March.

KLR first AGM

For those readers not on our mailing list – and you won’t be unless you sign-up as a volunteer – or who have missed the notices we’ve posted around the burgh, our first AGM is tomorrow night.  We will be meeting at 7.30pm in Kinghorn Community Centre, Wednesday 22 February.

We have a number of announcements to make and a couple of things to vote on but also, crucially, little in the way of updates from Fife Council.

Given that Fife Council voted to end funding of Kinghorn Library last year, we had hoped to be in a position to announce an opening date but we have yet to see a draft copy of the lease.

In the year since the announcement to close our library was made, volunteers from Kinghorn have formed a Private Company Limited by Guarantee (which involves mastering some of the legal blah involved in writing a legally-compliant constitution), we have registered as a charity, we have developed a business plan, we have researched and tested the database we will use to manage our book inventory and loans, we have been for Health & Safety training… in fact, we have jumped through every hoop, obstacle and flaming fire-pit of administrative and legal bumph to get to the point where we can say ‘We are ready’.

We have been informed that the revised date for entry is now 20 March 2017 but as with all the other bungle, fudge and slippery language used by any/ most local authorities, it’s always worth checking the small print.  It’s worth remembering that as a Category B-listed building, there will inevitably be clauses that have to be clarified by the lawyers and given that Fife Council wants KLR to assume part-control of the exterior of the building, there’s a reluctance from a small charity to be responsible for maintaining a building which just two years got a botched job on roof repairs that cost £85k.  Since a window in the foyer has been replaced, there is now damp where before there was a dry vestibule.  A repair job of just 10% of that cost would put us out of business which is why taxpayers trust local authorities to look after buildings of historical interest.

In short, Fife Council had just one job: to prepare a lease.  The decanting of the library (to give it the technical term when you lock the doors and switch off the lights) was to be handled by Fife Cultural Trust.  It is not as though the managers of the Asset Team or the Legal Services did not know that this closure was pending.  The closure date of Tuesday 28 February 2017 was announced last year.  We were told just yesterday – Monday 20 February 2017 – in an email from Sharon Ward, Lead Officer Asset Management (Strategic Planning), that Fife Cultural Trust has yet to have their lawyer in Glasgow renounce the lease and to quote her email “that is progressing but agreement is not yet reached.”

You had one job Fife Council, just one job.

Kinghorn Library Renewed has been incorporated

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It’s not a very exciting image but it is certification from Companies House which shows that Kinghorn Library Renewed has been recognised as company no. SC542843. Once we start operations fully (and have also submitted financial accounts to HMRC and Companies House at year end) our records will be available to anyone wishing to look them up online.

Kinghorn Library Renewed has been listed as a Company Limited by Guarantee but this does not mean we will be making a profit – all proceeds from our fund-raising are for the library in our community. All this company status does is guarantee creditor’s rights. Having attained recognition as a company, our next step is to seek recognition as a charity from OSCR.

Number one Book Fair

A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported our first book fair back in June.

We raised over £300 in just two hours and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support not only of volunteers but the community centre and everyone who donated books they no longer needed.  We still have many of those books and are currently finding good (fund-raising) homes for them because in advance of our next book fair in September, we have received the offer of many more books.

The first book fair was important because it demonstrated our commitment to the continued operation of our public library even as we hurried to meet the revised deadline for the submission of our business plan to Fife Council.  This plan has been accepted and the next step is to meet with representatives from Fife Council to discuss the terms of the lease.

Kinghorn Library Renewed ~ BOOK FAIR!

SATURDAY 18TH JUNE

10am – 12 noon

Kinghorn Community Centre – Small Hall

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KLR’s first fund raising event will take place this Saturday. Many thanks to the folks who have donated hundreds of books for this event, some of which we have saved for the new library to be opened in 2017.

A wide variety of fiction and non fiction will be for sale. All proceeds will go towards the Kinghorn Library Renewed’s library fund.

PLEASE COME ALONG

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Please not that Kinghorn Library is still open as usual! On-going support for our existing library is vital if we are to be successful in our bid to continue providing the service as a community library in the future.