Posted by: bluesyemre | October 18, 2022

A Warm Welcome (Setting up a warm space in your community)

CILIP, the library and information association has published a comprehensive set of guidelines: ‘A Warm Welcome. Setting up a warm space in your community’. These guidelines stemmed from a tweet in early September 2022 by Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, asking if there were any UK charities who could come forward and write a best practice guidance document for setting up warm spaces in the community.

Public libraries were invited to submit their best practice guidance from advice on issues such as safeguarding and accessibility, to the practicalities of health and safety, accessibility and risk assessments – but at all times remembering that these spaces should be welcoming, warm and safe.

This is a role that libraries and librarians have quietly undertaken for decades, but during this cost of living crisis the sector and CILIP knew that need was going to markedly increase and were already discussing what could be done.

As the leading voice for the library profession, CILIP stepped forward and undertook to produce the guidelines as a matter of urgency. ‘A Warm Welcome’ is the result, compiled by CILIP using their links to public libraries to share best practice ideas on how to support and welcome communities this coming winter.

CILIP would like to thank Martin Lewis on behalf of libraries and other community hubs for his generous funding and for providing the spark to turn this guidance around in a matter of weeks. These guidelines started as a public library initiative, but we hope they will prove helpful to any organisation that would like to set up a warm, safe and welcoming space within the community this winter.

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