Sticking Together

Sticking Together!

As part of Friends of Stirchley Library’s (FOSL) successful bid to the Local Innovation Fund, we have purchased a self-service kiosk that will enable users to return and check out books, check their balance and pay fines. This will help free up the library staff  for other important work.

In order for books to be taken out and returned via the kiosk, they need to be tagged and stickered. This is big task and we need your help! Our first challenge is going to be to add the entire children’s fiction section to the system.

We’d really appreciate an hour or two of your time to help on the following dates:

Tuesday 14th August, 1-3pm

Wednesday 15th August 6.30-8.30pm

Thursday 30th August, 1-3pm

Children are very welcome to join in. This will be a great opportunity to chat with the FOSL team and learn more about how you can get involved as a volunteer.


FOSL Volunteer Network – Get Involved!

FOSL Volunteer Network – Get Involved!

Following the campaign to save Stirchley Library in 2017, Friends of Stirchley Library is now focused on the future of the library. We want to support the existing library service and staff and keep the library at the centre of the Stirchley community for years to come.

Over the next six months, FOSL will establish a network of volunteers who can support the library staff and move towards the library being open more often and accessible to more people. Last year, lots of people in the community registered their interest in volunteering with FOSL. We’re now ready to kickstart the Volunteer Programme, providing the required training and ongoing support.

We are looking for volunteers to support FOSL in the following areas:

1. To support the existing library staff and expand opening hours

This will be a phased rollout of an expanded service, starting out with lunchtimes and evening events, with the aim of increasing library usage and moving towards the library being open more than 3 days per week. This will be a great way to meet other people in the community and contribute to the expansion of the library service.

Volunteers will assist customers with the use of the new Self-Service Kiosk, use of PCs and printing.

2. To assist in the programming and running of community events

We want the library to be at the heart of our community, a venue that hosts a wide variety of events for people of all ages and families. We can only do this through the support of volunteers. Have an idea for an event that could be held at the library? Or just want to help out with setting up and running events? We’d love to see more book clubs, community group meetings, creative workshops and evening events taking place at the library.

3. FOSL Committee

Friends of Stirchley Library is currently run by a small but passionate committee of four local people who care about the future of the library and its place in the community. Unfortunately we only have so much capacity, and would really value other voices in the community contributing to our long-term planning, governance and fundraising. Help us realise the big ambitions we have for FOSL by joining the committee!

To register your interest in volunteering with FOSL, please fill out this short form and our Volunteer Network Coordinator Matt Andrews will be in touch soon.

Thank you for your interest!

Summer Activities + Summer Reading Challenge!

Mischief Makers: Summer Reading Challenge 2018

The reading agency and libraries present Mischief Makers, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

The challenge over the summer, is to read 6 books. To encourage this, your library offer incentives such as a collecting card, bookmark, wrist band and stickers.

Everyone who takes part and reads at least one book will receive a certificate, and if you manage to read all six books you’ll receive a medal as well.

For pre-school children, we also offer the Summer Mini-Challenge. Collect a sticker for coming to the library and taking books out. When you have six stickers, you’ll also receive a certificate.

The reading challenge starts on Saturday 14th July and runs until 15th September.

Summer activities at Stirchley Library

Stirchley Library have a range of activities going on over the Summer Holidays to keep everyone entertained. The sessions run from 2.30pm-3.30pm and are generally suitable for 3 years old and upwards, unless otherwise noted. Some adult support may be necessary.

  • Thursday 26th July – The star of the show, Dennis the Menace, will be the theme for this session.
  • Thursday 2nd August – The original mischief makers, trickster beings who play pranks to teach mortals a lesson.
  • Thursday 9th August – Come along for some pirate mischief as we set sail on the high seas!
  • Thursday 16th August – Captain Underpants to the rescue!
  • Thursday 23rd August – Is Horrid Henry really all that bad? Come along and make some not so horrid crafts.
  • Saturday 1st September – Our regular Saturday crafts return!

Stirchley Library will also be continuing their weekly pre-school session on Tuesday mornings between 9.45am and 10.15am. For children under 5, it aims to introduce them to language through rhymes and stories.

Sun illustration by Ben Javens


Look into your online life


  • Do you feel your digital self is slipping out of control?
  • Clicked “I agree” too many times?
  • Have you ever wondered if your smart gadgets know more about you than you do?

    Visit the Glass Room Experience, a pop-up exhibition on Data and Privacy, at Stirchley Library on Saturday 4 August 2018 – and find out from our informational and interactive exhibits on internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

    There will also be a Data Detox Bar where you can pick up an 8-day Data Detox Kit and ask members of the Birmingham Open Rights Group your questions about how to protect your privacy and secure your information. No technical knowledge is required. Just drop in, view the exhibits and come say hi!

    Leading the day will be Fiona Cullinan, who trained and worked as a volunteer ‘Ingenius’ at The Glass Room London (, a pop-up tech store with a twist, which ran in London for three weeks in Oct-Nov 2017 and attracted nearly 20,000 people in to look into their online lives. Since then, Fiona has set up Observed.City (, a data privacy email for Birmingham, and also co-runs Stirchley data reading group The Interrogang (


    The Glass Room was curated by Tactical Tech and presented by Mozilla. Tactical Tech’s 8-day Data Detox Kit is available online:

    More data privacy resources and information are available at https://theglassroom.organd

    Birmingham Open Rights Group runs local events on digital rights. Check for upcoming events and further information:

HOPE not HATE – Kings Heath Action for Refugees workshop

Kings Heath Action for Refugees are holding an event at the Library on 19th June at 7pm – held during Refugee Week, this event is a workshop delivered by HOPE not Hate on how to communicate effectively about the issues surrounding migration.

Changing people’s views is rarely achieved through the medium of good rhetoric or great speeches. What we believe is based on ideas about the world that are developed over many years. We tend to seek out information that confirm our existing beliefs, and ignore information that doesn’t.

This workshop focuses on the techniques needed to bring people around to a different way of thinking, and how to effectively and respectfully navigate challenging conversations about immigration and multiculturalism.

Some of the areas this workshop will cover include:

– Who do we need to speak to? How?
– The Myth of Mythbusting and the power of narrative.
– Empathetic Listening and Socratic Questioning techniques.
– Learning lessons from Los Angeles LGBT campaigners

Suggested donation £5 – tea, coffee and cake will be included.

Places are limited to 25 so you need to secure your place by completing the booking form.