Christmas came early for Bembridge Community Library last Saturday when visitors, users and supporters joined volunteers for the venue’s seasonal coffee morning and fayre.
The morning was, as ever, very well attended with final ticket sales for the grand annual draw topping £700 alone. Main prizes included a luxury Christmas Hamper kindly donated by Steve Warburton, owner of the Welcome Store at Lane End and £100 worth of shopping vouchers from the Bembridge Business Association. Most of the prizes were gifts from local businesses and library supporters.
Complete with live festive music from the Bembridge Recorder Consort, the event again offered visitors home made cakes and refreshments, a stand run by the Bembridge Library Stitchers presenting a colourful display of hand-stitched items, many of which were available for sale, a bric a brac stall, and an opportunity to adopt a named cuddly toy.
Visitors also took full advantage of the hundreds of books and jigsaws for sale, starting at just 50p for nearly new and good condition paperbacks.
The library, which was saved from closure 5 years ago by a small group of Bembridge people, has continued to thrive thanks to the dedication and commitment of its entirely volunteer work force and the support of Community Action Isle of Wight. It has since grown into a self-supporting successful community hub, incorporating a versatile facility for meetings, and offering a free public internet resource, and the sale of garden waste sacks.
The library has also been designated as the recognised Tourist Information Point for Bembridge and is conveniently co-located with the adjacent Bembridge Heritage Museum with which it works closely.
During the event, the library continued to operate as normal for books, talking books and DVD transactions as well as operating the public computer service.
Bembridge Community Library is open four days a week, all day on Monday and Friday as well as Wednesday and Saturday mornings.