The Friends of Marsden Library and the Marsden Community Trust (responsible for Marsden Mechanics) officially launched the Big Library Appeal on 24th September 2016.
Marsden Library continues to thrive in its home in Marsden Mechanics. It hosts a variety of events and activities: some long-standing friends like Write Out Loud, some newcomers to the Marsden scene, like Lego Club and Local Writers Reading.
Both Lego Club and Local Writers Reading are initiatives from the Friends of Marsden Library, and starting Friends of Marsden Library in November 2015 was the first step in assuring the future of Marsden Library.
In the Summer of 2016 Kirklees approved the first stage of transferring ownership of Marsden Mechanics (Asset Transfer) to the village, represented by Marsden Community Trust (MCT). MCT will be responsible for the upkeep of Marsden Mechanics and will need to generate income from rent and room hire to cover the costs.
Marsden Library is a very important part of Marsden Mechanics, which has housed a library for the whole of its 150 year history, but it occupies its space without paying any rent.
To make this work, the MCT Board, Friends of Marsden Library and the Library Service have agreed to re-design the Library to make better use of the space. The MCT Board plans to create a new office space for renting out, and new meeting space that can be hired. In addition, the Library space will be available to hire when not being used for the Library.
“We’re completely committed to keeping the library,” says Mark Crowe, co-Chair of the Trust, “But cuts to the Library Service mean that it will not be able to make any contribution to the running costs of the Mechanics.”
“Our solution is to make the space multi-purpose, so that when it is not being used as a library it can be used by other community groups.”
The Big Library Appeal
Together, we have already made a great start to fundraising. Robin Ince played in the Mechanics as a benefit in June 2016, raising around £1500, funds have been raised through Local Writers Reading, and the very successful Spring Tree Walk, and our fundraising total is now more than £3000.
And in November we welcome Marsden’s very own poet, Simon Armitage, who is also donating his time in support of the Library.
To raise enough money for our ambitious plans for the Library is going to take a massive effort. The estimated total cost is £72,000.
The Big Library Appeal aims to raise about a quarter of this – £18,000.
If the appeal is successful we will be able to enhance the Library by removing the false ceiling and creating a more attractive space, as well as having more flexibility in the use of the space.
It will be expensive, but we love our library and we want to improve the space as well as altering it. Marsden Mechanics is a fantastic building, built by public subscription. Now that it is about to be returned to the village’s ownership we want to make sure that it continues to be a building the whole community can be proud of.