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Isle of Man Family Library fights for its future

The Family Library also operates a Mobile Library around the island. Photo: familylibrary.im

A long-established and familiar library on the Isle of Man may have to shut its doors if funding discontinues.

The Family Library on Westmoreland Road, Douglas has been running as a charity since 2012, when the government stopped funding.

A three-year funding deal was struck initially with a private sector business and then a family trust stepped in to continue a portion of the funding – with the agreement that the Library found a significant portion of its £240,000 itself.

Sing and Sign, for parents and babies runs every week at the Family Library. Credit: Family Library, Douglas

The library now needs committed additional funds of at least £85,000 per year, to contribute to a budget that has not changed in five years.

As well as the Douglas branch, the charity also operates a Mobile Library, visiting schools, residential homes and the prison.

The Family Library is now in need of corporate sponsors, providing information packs for either firms or independent investors.

Library staff member Kim Holden hosts the regular Storybox gathering for pre-schoolers. Credit: Family Library, Douglas

A Bibliotherapy service was launched by the charity last year, funded by the Manx Lottery Trust which aimed to encourage good mental health through sociability and communication with selected adult picture books and memorabilia.

To find out more information about how to become a sponsor, contact the Family Library on 01624 640650 or email sandra.henderson@familylibrary.im or mary.cousins@familylibrary.im

Working in a public library service requires patience, a sense of humour, the ability to listen and have a responsibility to care for the community, be a psychologist, social worker, teacher and researcher. It is a hugely responsible job that those who work in accept and devote their lives to. Libraries are more than just the books and the people who work in them do a lot more than stamp the books being borrowed.

– Sandra Henderson, Family Library