Press release: Family trust shows faith in Family Library and Mobile Library

A family trust has shown its faith in the Family Library and Mobile Family Library by coming up with half of the money needed to fund the services for an additional three years.

It’s a huge boost to the library services, which are run as a charity under the auspices of the Manx Educational Foundation.

The current three-year funding deal for the Family Library and Mobile Family Library ends next summer and the Scheinberg family has confirmed to the Manx Educational Foundation it will fund £125,000 of the running costs each year – half of the annual running costs – for a three-year period.

MEF director Kurt Roosen said: ‘This is wonderful news and a remarkable gesture from the Scheinberg family. It means we are half way to meeting our funding needs for three years.

‘The family recognises the valuable services we provide and shares our vision to continue to expand and improve.

‘We are very grateful to them and will now continue our search to find the rest of the funding to cover our yearly costs.

‘It could be a wonderful opportunity for multiple corporate enterprises to contribute to something that covers a wide range of our community.’

The Scheinberg family is based in the Isle of Man and a spokesman said: ‘We have been very impressed with the services the libraries continue to offer the island and are happy to contribute towards future funding.’

Mr Roosen added:  ‘The Family Library serves thousands of children, while the Mobile Family Library brings books to those who may not otherwise have the chance to read them.

‘That’s not to mention the many workshops, competitions and other events at the Family Library and the extra services the Mobile Family Library provides, including a link up with Isle of Man Post Office. We hope to continue the growth of those services.’

Mr Roosen said the combined cost of running the Family Library and the Mobile Family Library came to £250,000 per year.

Services have actually improved and expanded since they went onto a charitable footing.

The Family Library and Mobile Family Library scooped the Medium Enterprise award in the 2013 Isle of Man Awards for Excellence, in recognition of the hard work involved in making a seamless transition from Government to charitable status and to improve and develop the service.

The Family Library is based next to the children’s playground in Westmoreland Road in Douglas and is home to the largest collection of books for young people in the Island.

There are more than 2,000 members of the Family Library and 235 teachers are also signed up to it.

The increase in service has seen a staff re-organisation which sees a team of four at the Family Library, plus student help on Saturdays and in the holidays.

Even though the Family Library is no longer run by the Department of Education and Children, it offers a free service to the Island’s schools, delivering books and teaching props upon request. About 26 schools use the service, often to assist with specific events or with curriculum projects.

The library also hosts class visits from schools, plus more visits from pre-school groups and adult education resource centres.

Librarian in charge Mary Cousins welcomed the news of the support from the Scheinberg family and added: ‘We hope to continue to provide a service on many levels and expand upon what we offer.

‘There is the obvious education and leisure service for young people, by making available such a vast array of books, but we also support schools and have become community focused in the past few years by allowing the library to be used by a wide range of groups.’

Alan Ray helps customer Barbara Bernard carry her books home

Alan Ray helps customer Barbara Bernard carry her books home

Alongside the Family Library, the Mobile Family Library, with two full-time and two part-time staff members, provides an Island-wide service going to places other libraries cannot reach and taking books out to people who otherwise would not be able to access them.

Its vehicles are a familiar sight around the Island, stopping in 90 different places over a two-week timetable. The stock is drawn from the vast collection of 37, 000 items kept back at base in Westmoreland Road. The Large Print collection of more than 5,000 books is invaluable for those whose sight is failing, and alone generates more than 11,000 issues each year.

The Home Library service visits 17 residential homes and many individuals in their own homes, for whom a carefully selected choice of books and audiobooks are made by the staff.

Sandra Henderson, the librarian in charge of the Mobile Family Library, said: ‘The service we provide is often the focal point of the community in many of the outreaching areas. We want to continue to do this and are always looking at ways to improve our services.

‘We cater for every age group, from pre-school to senior citizen, and have made many friends over the years.’

If your business wants to find out more about funding opportunities for the Family Library and the Mobile Family Library, contact Kurt Roosen via email at

To find out more about the services that are available, visit the library website or call 640650.

In addition, the Family Library and the Mobile Family Library each has an individual page on Facebook.

Related articles:

 Search on to find funding for the Family Library and Mobile Family Library

Mobile Family Library delivers much more than books

Family Library helps out charity in Gambia

Back to Paul Speller Media news page.


About Paul Speller

Writer, journalist, husband, dad.
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5 Responses to Press release: Family trust shows faith in Family Library and Mobile Library

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