1. The Friends of Wool Library came into being with an inaugural meeting on 10 May 2011. The meeting had been arranged as a follow-up to a previous meeting of some 25 Library users which had been addressed by Alex Brenton CC on the Dorset CC consultation proposals for the future of Library Services in Dorset and the implications for Wool library. It was agreed that a “Friends of Wool Library Group” be formally set up and to instruct the Committee appointed by the Group to look at the best legal format for the body and to recommend this and a more detailed Constitution to a future general meeting.
2. The headline purpose of the Friends was the retention of the library as a physical presence in Wool working in collaboration with the Parish Council and AD Lib ( the Association of the Friends of Dorset Libraries). This purpose was confirmed and supported by the Annual Parish Meeting held on 16 May 2011.
3. As is now well known, the County Council on 21 July 2011 took the decision by a majority of only one vote to close 9 libraries in 2012 whilst offering a package of support to any of the 9 community groups who wished to take over the running of their library on a community-managed basis. On 10 November an attempt by the minority party on the County Council to have the decision rescinded was defeated.
4. Friends of Wool Library then submitted a draft business plan in January 2012 based on an original Parish Council offer to the County to move the Parish Office into the library space and take over responsibility for the rent and utilities costs, with FOWL as their sub-tenant managing the reconfigured space as the library. The Parish Council wrote on 29 February 2012 confirming their decision to make this move. The County Council Cabinet on 7 March 2012 approved the transfer of a non-core library service to 7 libraries including Wool.
At the first Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Wool Library on 27 March 2012, the following were elected to serve as the Trustees:
Chairman: David Smith
Secretary: Rosemary Berrie
Treasurer: Jenny Villis
Committee Members: Alasdair Berrie, Kate Bonfield, Martin Hosegood, Eileen Osgood, Chris Whish
The operational management of the Library will be the responsibility of an Operational Management Group (OMG) led by the Volunteer Co-ordinator, Christine Reber and comprising a number of Trustees and volunteers