Press Release: Family Library welcomes recognition from chief minister

The Family Library has welcomed Chief Minister Howard Quayle’s recognition of the services it provides to government for free.

Mr Quayle detailed the many services the charity provides, in response to a Tynwald question tabled by Speaker of the House of Keys Juan Watterson.

He also confirmed there were no direct contributions to the Family Library and the Mobile Family Library by governments departments.

The charity recently announced it needed to find corporate sponsors urgently, to help secure its future.

Based in Douglas, as well as its popular library for youngsters, if provides a mobile service, taking books around the Island, as well as offering a Schools Service which supplies ‘story sacks’ to support teachers in lessons and also hosts class visits.

Librarian in charge Mary Cousins said: ‘We are pleased to see Chief Minister Howard Quayle acknowledge the services we provide.

‘We continue our search to secure funding as those services are crucial to the community.’

In his answer, Mr Quayle says: ‘Many primary schools and two of the secondary schools benefit from the resources the Family Library provides through their Schools Service, including school visits to the library and accessing curricular resources available to be used in school.’

As well as catering for school visits and providing valuable resources for lessons, many individual teachers visit the Family Library to help prepare for projects.

‘No charge is made to schools for visits or the use and delivery of any resources and the department makes no payment to the Family Library,’ Mr Quayle says.

He also confirms in his answer the Department of Health and Social Care’s adult social care division uses the library, but makes no contribution to it, while the Mobile Family Library provides books to the Department of Home Affairs for use in prison.

Mr Quayle also sought responses from local authorities for his answer. Nearly all acknowledge the Mobile Family Library visits their area and a number make contributions to the charity, the highest from Braddan Commissioners (£5,000) and Garff Commissioners (£1,500).

Sandra Henderson, librarian in charge of the Mobile Family Library, said staff provide coverage all over the Island.

‘For some users, we are a lifeline – their primary form of social contact,’ she said. ‘We also provide home deliveries to those with mobility problems who cannot make it to any of our scheduled stopping points.

‘We take our books to many residential homes, too.’

Last year, a Bibliotherapy service was launched, funded by the Manx Lottery Trust, encouraging good mental health through sociability and communication by holding sessions with collections of specially selected adult picture books and memorabilia.

Sandra said: ‘The Mobile Service is the only library in the island that provides books to those who cannot get out and it would be devastating for those who use it if it ceased.

‘This benefits health and wellbeing alongside our Bibliotherapy service and improves the lives of our growing elderly population.’

Mary added: ‘The Family Library in Douglas has regular visitors from youngsters all parts of the Island, well as those living in Douglas and Onchan.

‘For some of those children, it is their first contact with books and remains their main route to access them. We create a relaxed environment in which the children can have fun and learn.

‘We provide much more games and a wide variety of workshops to help youngsters develop their creativity.’

  • The charity has produced an information pack for potential investors. If you or your firm is interested in becoming a major sponsor, or holding an event, contact the Family Library on 01624 640650 or email or

Related articles:

Every penny counts! Fundraising boost for Family Library

Library fights for its future

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About Paul Speller

Writer, journalist, husband, dad.
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2 Responses to Press Release: Family Library welcomes recognition from chief minister

  1. Pingback: Every penny counts! Pledge to double funds raised by Family Library supporters | Paul Speller Media

  2. Pingback: Press Release: Manx Miracles gives Family Library a huge funding boost | Paul Speller

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