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About the Friends of Colyton Library

History of the Friends of Colyton Library from 2007 to 2015, and its Present Function

Friends of Colyton Library (FoCL) was created in 2007 following a successful campaign to prevent the closure of Colyton Library by Devon County Council. The Friends group has been active in supporting the library, encouraging more usage and running events.

The Friends  provide regular events, book launches and a monthly coffee morning on Tuesdays to which anyone and everyone is invited.

The 'Friends' campaigned for and achieved the modernisation and refurbishment of the Library in 2011. This provided more space and a better environment. This work was funded by DCC with help from Colyton Chamber of Feoffees, Colyton Parish History Society and the Friends of Colyton Library and was much welcomed and appreciated by the residents of Colyton and Colyford.

The next change also occurred in 2011, when DCC had to reduce expenditure on Libraries due to their reduced budget. This resulted in the opening hours of our Library being reduced from 16.5 hours to 12.5 hours per week. One session per week, 2.5 hours, is run by FoCL volunteers, trained by DCC.

The use of
volunteers enables people to borrow and return books, browse and use the computers. This session is know as 'Library Extra' and is reasonably well used. It includes a monthly coffee morning.

Part of the refurbishment included the installation of a self service machine for borrowing and returning books which has enabled the volunteer session. Volunteers also support children's events and assist with the Book Track reading scheme.

In 2014Colyton Library once again faced a major change and a challenge. DCC had to make £1.5 million savings between 2014/15 and 2016/17.

In 2015 DCC decided that the most effective way to achieve this was to set up the Devon Library Service as a mutual organisation, named 'Libraries Unlimited' and therefore substantially reduce back office costs. DCC will then commission the library service. This will not effect the delivery of the current service. Colyton is classified as a small library and our challenge is to work with the community and DLS to identify how we can make changes, including reducing our running costs by making  recurring savings.

We are focusing on
• transforming the library into a community library that can used as a venue by small groups and activities
• reducing the running costs of the Library
• fund raising ideas
• identifying how we – the community of Colyton and Colyford, can maintain and run the library in a manner that is sustainable and within budget and meets the community's needs

The Colyton Parish Council and Chamber of Feoffees are both determined to help achieve these aims and wish to keep a thriving library within the centre of Colyton. Therefore it was agreed to transfer the ownership of the building to Colyton Parish Council in order to ensure that it belongs to the community of Colyton and Colyford. This work is on going and the completion date is expected to be 1st April 2016.

How can you help?
This is a community library which means that ideas for the future are all very welcome. Please do contact us if you wish to get involved with the future of the library or can contribute in any way.

Please contact the Chairman of Friends of Colyton Library.Jane Dauncey Tel: 01297 552514
07885 597779
or email:

Charitable Company reference number: EW39477  Library telephone number: 01297 552514
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