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Report from our Annual General Meeting

The Pittenweem Community Library and Information Centre AGM was held on Thursday 3 March by Zoom rather than face to face  – a move which was welcomed by all as the first vote in the proceedings. 

The trustees presented a view of our past year, which was of course impacted by Covid restrictions. We had to close the library to visitors for the first few months of 2021, but we provided an order and collect service and then limited opening until July when we were again able to open on our usual four days each week. 

Over the year we were delighted to see that our membership continued to grow with new joiners from Pittenweem and the wider East Neuk towns and villages. While the number of people coming in to borrow books was understandably down on pre-Covid times, partly due to the suspension of school visits, the number of books borrowed increased quite significantly. Could this be another impact of Covid – regular readers spending more time at home reading? 

One of our great successes has been the book reviews written by our members and published in newsletters and on the website. This was a Covid initiative but one that we are delighted to continue for as long as our members keep us supplied with their thoughtful and entertaining reviews and recommendations. 

We are very lucky to have the support of many people in our community who have helped us financially through difficult times. Our main source of income is normally through fundraising events and these have again been somewhat curtailed. However our volunteers and supporters pulled out the stops to ensure that we raised enough money to cover our costs for the year. With much thanks to Pittenweem Community Crafts who held two sales of their beautiful work in the library, in May and in August, and donated all takings to the library. And we managed to run another successful series of talks, with thanks to Sue Chesterton for her amazing organisational skills and for persuading a fantastic line up of speakers to support us. The AGM provides us with the opportunity to formally thank our wonderful team of volunteers who look after the stock, welcome visitors and provide them with information, help us manage the premises, raise funds through items for sale, publicise our services and events, and encourage the young people in the community to grow up to be readers and library users. 

As ever, one of the main reasons for holding an AGM is to allow the members to have a say on the future of the library and so the trustees presented their proposals for the coming year. This is an ambitious plan which includes further work to the building, with an improved entrance and new toilets. Also included will be restarting the children’s events in the library, building on our recent series of exhibitions, and planning for our fifth birthday celebrations in July 2022. The main vote of the evening was then a show of ‘virtual hands’ for the trustees who were standing for election to take this forward. 

Trustees for this coming year are Georgina Stutchfield, Hazel Mills, Sam Wade, Helen Mathers and Jane Forbes. We were delighted when Jane agreed, in February this year, to join us and she was then elected by our members at the AGM. Standing down this year were Georgina Stutchfield and Lorna Foote, our longest-serving board members. Georgina stood for re-election and Lorna has given up her role as trustee and chair but is continuing as a volunteer managing the library’s online presence and helping with publicity. 

The slides that were used at the AGM are available if you would like to see more detail. And if you are interested in finding out more about the library and how it works, or would like to get more involved, get in touch with us by email or just pop in and have a chat.

Finally a big thank you to Charles Caldwell who managed the technology that allowed us to hold this AGM from our homes without having to brave the cold dark evening outside.