Hay Public Library.org C.I.C.


We have JUST Signed a 5 Year Commercially Binding Contract with Powys County Council to Keep our Library Open for 5 years 2021-2026.

Thanks a thousand to everyone in Hay who has helped us pull this off. Our "Hands Off Hay Library" window sticker campaign has been a blistering success!

Our first and primary objective has been achieved 


In this 5 year timescale we will radically transform our Library as a safe, free space, and as an Institutional Centre for Community Security and Resilience. 

  • We intend to Innovate the Library so it becomes the first port of call for everyone in our Community wishing to access ANY of Powys’s Services or any other Welfare or Social Service.
  • We will assist our communities in developing networks to face the future, particularly in the face of Climate Change.
  • We will actively support our young people and, in the first instance, assist them is setting up a Climate Change Club
  • Scroll down for our full list and take a look at our VISION HERE

Here is the background to our Campaign

We have had a Public Library in Hay since 1947 however, since 2016, it has been under threat of closure. First our Library was to be closed and the site sold. HOWLS (Hay On Wye Library Supporters) managed to ensure the Library was 'saved', and moved into its own building down on the new Primary School site. Job done, one would have thought, but no.

'Saved' was the operative word! At the start of 2019, Powys proposed cutting £200,000 from its Rural Library Service. A first step to closing all Rural Libraries. Now, 2020/21, they are proposing to cut £30,000 from essential central administration services - and in attacking the centre, year after year, (while increasing our rates by 14.5% in two years), our Council Cabinet will eventually cripple the entire Powys Library Service.

The 2019/20 'cut' would have meant firing our Librarians and turning our newly-built 'Library' into a room full of books! As it turned out, the local uproar was so great the Council’s ‘Cabinet’ lost the vote and was forced to back down. We will know what's on the cards for 2020/21 by the end of February.

Worse still, they have threatened to cut a further £250,000 in 2021/22, and on top of that £170,000 in 2022/23. And they somehow believe we will tolerate this! Perhaps the only solution will be the ballot box in 2022.

So the threat continues. We want to 'nip it' in the bud, partner with Powys and win five years of security for our library in Hay and its services.

In response to the 2019/2020 threat, HOWLS - with over 400 members from our Community - decided to set up a Community Interest Company to serve our interests: And Hay Public Library.org CIC was born - on May-day 2019.

What Are We STILL Proposing To Do?

  • 1. Keep Our Library Open - ACCOMPLISHED
  • 2. Negotiate an extendable 5-year binding contract with Powys, to maintain all existing Library services to Hay for 5 years - (2021 to 2026) - ACCOMPLISHED
  • 3. Provide security of employment for our Librarians, who don’t know if they will have a job from one year to the next - ACCOMPLISHED
  • 4. Raise five years worth of funding from our community - ONGOING
  • 5. Massively expand the use of the resources our Library offers to our community over the contract period, and specifically to include our teenagers - ( they want a Climate Change Club, we will support it and host it in the Library) - ONGOING
  • 6.  Innovate the Library so it becomes the first port of call for everyone in our Community wishing to access ANY of Powys’s Services or any other Welfare or Social Service. Our Library will become an invaluable knowledge hub for all of us and for Powys - ONGOING
  • 7.  Assist our communities in developing resilience networks to face the future, particularly in the face of Climate Change - (We are talking about Food Security, Energy Security, Housing Security, Health and Well-being Security) - ONGOING
  • 8. Build/Provide our Own Custom Library building: We expect to outgrow the tiny building we have now, we will then help raise the finance to provide/ build our own custom Library to house all the networked sectors of our community who use our Library, including our teenagers - ONGOING

Breaking The Social Contract with the People is No Longer Acceptable

  • 1. Unless we support Powys financially NOW to save our Library, we will lose it and never get it back again
  • 2. If we don't negotiate a long-term contract we go from one annual crisis to the next
  • 3. February 2019 was the third time the Council was preparing to close our Library down. It's current tack is to damage the central administration support services for all Powys Libraries
  • 4. We have to stop the need for us to campaign to retain our Public Library year after year, after year
  • 5. In moving our Library from its own building to a building within the Primary school complex, and choosing the School to be our 'Landlords', Powys have pitted the needs of one sector of our community against another - dividing us against ourselves. This is unacceptable.
  • To date, in the last three weeks of December 2019, even before launching our funding Campaign, we have raise £5,000 a year for 5 years (£25,000) - half of what we believe we will need. And that’s just by accessing our personal networks and asking for help from individuals, one by one

Why should we give more money from our own pockets to our Local Authority ?

  • Powys County Council is BROKE. That’s our Starting Point
  • And Yes, it is because our Westminster Government for 10 years have used the ‘Crash of 2008’ as an excuse to plough a Cart and Horse through our Social, Educational, Medical and Welfare Systems
  • And Yes, the State has broken the Social Contract with the People
  • And Yes, we have just voted for more of the same
  • And Yes, our Library Service is perhaps the most effective and efficient and most professionally run part of our Local Authority System
  • Either we bitch about it OR WE TAKE BACK CONTROL, keep our Library open, re-invent it so it becomes a pivotal link between members of our community and their collective search for knowledge, and connectivity
  • Our Public Library needs also to be recognised as the primary local interface between our Community and the State. If you wish to access ANY State support, your first port of call on 'HOW TO DO THAT' will be our Library.

We have to come together now and Partner with our Local Authority

  • We need to work together as a Community and re-invent our Library for the modern age
  • We need long-term security for our Library Staff and Services in Hay
  • We need to include our Teenagers. They are entirely washed out of the picture in Hay

What Are We Asking You To Do?

We need to be able to get in touch with you IMMEDIATELY a new threat descends upon us - and do so outside of Social Media.

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We will keep you up to date on what is happening, and let you know in a timely manner what kind of help we may need to keep our Library open and expand it's reach.

We will be working as a Community, for our Community.

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