In 2010, Buckinghamshire County Council, faced with a requirement to reduce library funding, proposed a community partnership arrangement whereby a number of smaller libraries in the county should be run by their local communities. The County library service undertook to provide support in the form of financial grants, provision of book and other stocks and continued access to the service's centralised IT system.
Following an open meeting in Haddenham in early 2011 a small working group was delegated to develop proposals for a community run village library. From the outset it was established by popular demand that the library must retain professional staff to provide the necessary expertise and leadership essential to a successful service.
By the beginning of 2012 agreement was reached with BCC for Haddenham Community Library to lease the library premises for a period of 25 years. A second agreement guaranteed a certain amount of grant and other income from BCC for an initial period of 5 years. Staff would be employed by BCC but seconded to and paid for by HCL.
BCC's funding proposals were insufficient to cover all the running costs of the library and HCL would be called on to find the necessary additional resources. A large part of this requirement has been mitigated by the recruitment of a team of volunteers to work alongside the professional library staff.
In 2012 it was also resolved that HCL's long term interests would be best served by becoming a charitable company.
HCL was launched in November 2012 and formally opened by the local MP, the Rt. Hon. John Bercow. HCL subsequently took over full responsibility for financial management of the library from April 2013.
Haddenham Community Library is a charitable company limited by guarantee which was incorporated on 1 March 2012 and registered as a charity on 11 July 2012.
The Management Committee responsible for running the company is made up of all the Director/Trustees plus a Library Manager who is seconded from Buckinghamshire County Council Library Services. The Management Committee meets once every two months. There is an Annual Public Meeting in the library at which Director/Trustees present a review of HCL's performance over the previous 12 months and talk about future plans.
The Director/Trustees give their time voluntarily and receive no benefits from the charity outside those generally available to all beneficiaries i.e. the provision of a library service in the community.
There are currently eight director/trustees:
Steve Sharp (Chairman)
Tim Mozley (Treasurer)
As Trustees, the directors are responsible for producing an annual report for the Charity Commission, the latest copy of which can be viewed on the Charity Commission's website or as a hard copy in the library.
To view the latest Annual Report click here and enter the charity number 1148062 in the search box.
Haddenham Community Library has an excellent member of staff seconded from BCC whose welcome, enthusiasm and knowledge provides valuable support and guidance to the library's volunteers.
To get in touch with our staff please send an email to
Haddenham Community Library would not exist without its volunteers. The fact that the library continues to prosper is in large measure due to the strength of its team of volunteers which has now grown to over sixty.
Although Haddenham Community Library receives grants from Buckinghamshire County Council, these are insufficient to pay for all our operating costs. There is a constant need to find additional means from other sources not only to cover existing overheads, but to maintain reserves and allow for future investment in HCL's services.
The Trustees would like to thank all the organisations without whose generous contributions it would not be possibile to maintain a library service in Haddenham. A list of these supporters is displayed on the 'Honours Board' in the library entrance, which is updated annually.
If you, or your organisation, are interested in helping HCL with financial or other donations please see our donations page.
To provide an accessible, welcoming, family-friendly and vibrant modern library fit for the 21st century
In support of the Mission Statement the trustees have made the following commitments:
a) offer an accessible, welcoming, family-friendly and vibrant modern library environment
b) manage a space which connects - for public services, community groups and business users and local schools
c) uphold and deliver on the traditional role of public libraries, including free access to books and the internet
d) support learning and literacy, providing access to all forms of information and knowledge
e) contribute to digital inclusion and digital literacy
f) serve and engage the community and its developing social, cultural and economic needs including links with local schools
g) increase participation in cultural and entertainment activity and support creative expression for all ages and backgrounds
h) improve the health and wellbeing of the community, including combatting loneliness and social exclusion in all forms
i) maintain a strong network of strategic partners that ensures we respond to stakeholders
j) maximise the mutual benefits of a team of highly motivated and well-trained staff and volunteers
k) secure the sustainability of the service with the necessary financial and human resources together with supporting infrastructure.
We recognise that the role of libraries is changing and that the introduction of community libraries is a reflection of this evolutionary process. Whilst retaining the basic function of a library, HCL has to develop and broaden its range of services in order to accomplish its stated mission. We plan to achieve this in full co-operation with the community and will always strive to meet the expectations of our customers.
Haddenham Community Library is and will be more than just books...
Haddenham Community Library adheres to the policies set out by Buckinghamshire County Council. To see these policies, please click here.
HCL also has its own specific policies on donated books and noticeboard flyers. Please ask in the Library for more information