FOGL News...

Summer Newsletter

Library Opening Hours Extended

From Tuesday 20 July, the Library opening hours will start to get back to normal. The new times are:


Monday: CLOSED

Tuesday: 9.30am-12.30pm & 2pm-5pm

Wednesday: CLOSED

Thursday: 9.30am-12.30pm & 2pm-5pm

Friday: 9.30am-12.30pm & 2pm-5pm

Saturday: 9.30am-1pm


At the moment, we’re very much hoping that the library will be able to open again on Monday morning and Tuesday evening from September.


Membership Secretary Needed

After many years of excellent service, Jo Nicolson is standing down from the committee and from her role as Membership Secretary. So we are now in need of someone who would be willing to take over the job. Main duties include keeping a record of Friends and their subscription payments on Excel, emptying the mailbox in the library and liaising with our Treasurer to process the payments, and sending out newsletters (such as this one!) and any other necessary missives to the Friends. Jo feels that the role could easily be split into communications and memberships/finance and shared between two people. If you are interested in finding out more, please send an email to and Jo will be in touch to discuss the role in more detail. The committee are very friendly and welcoming and any volunteer for the role would be provided with full support from all of us.


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Although we’re not yet allowed to hold events inside the Library, Kate has been busy planning some book-related fun for children this summer. Our main family event (suitable for children aged 5-10) is based on the wonderful book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’. This will take place on Saturday 24 July at Withymead Nature Reserve with plenty of outdoor activities, including pond dipping, making shelters and mud picnics for bears to name just a few. There will be sessions in the morning (10-12) and afternoon (1-3), with story time at 10.30am and 1.30pm. You can bring a picnic to enjoy before or after your booked session and there will also be the opportunity to take a self-guided ramble around the nature reserve. Tickets for this excellent event are free, but a donation would be very welcome. Booking is essential as numbers are strictly limited. Please call Kate on 01491 873023 to book. Fingers crossed for a wonderful, sunny day!

Summer Reading Challenge

Luckily there are still some things we can do inside the library and that includes borrowing books. To encourage children to continue reading during the holidays, the annual Summer Reading Challenge starts on 10 July. Wild World Heroes aims to inspire children to explore ways of helping to save the planet, with a focus on taking action for nature and tackling real-world environmental issues, from plastic pollution and deforestation to wildlife decline and nature loss. All children taking part in the challenge are encouraged to read six books over the course of the summer and collect stickers, a keyring, medal and certificate as they complete each section. Every completed challenge card is entered into a prize draw. Although the main challenge is designed for children aged 5 to 11, there is also a mini-challenge for the under 4s with their own special collector’s folder and stickers.


Top Ten Trees of the Goring Gap

To run alongside the challenge, Kate has devised an excellent walking trail visiting the Top Ten Trees of the Goring Gap, as suggested by local residents. The trail is full of interesting nature facts about the trees featured, together with explanations as to why they’ve been chosen. It’s suitable for all ages, adults included, and I’m very much looking forward to giving it a go. Trails can be collected from the library or downloaded from Everyone returning a completed trail to the Library will receive a prize, kindly donated by Goring Hardware.


Membership Renewals and Gift Aid

We sent out letters in April asking members to consider renewing their membership for the coming year and also to complete a Gift Aid form.  If you haven’t already done so, please do consider filling out the attached forms and return them either via email to or pop into the library and drop them in the Friends postbox. Kate has a supply of the forms in the library if you don’t have access to a printer.

Did you know?

You can suggest books for FOGL to buy – there is a book in the library where you can write suggestions down, or email and Kate will do what she can to accommodate these ideas.


Dates for Your Diary

We were very lucky to have local author, Sarah Meyrick, come and talk to us back in 2019. She has now written another book Joy and Felicity and has extended an invitation to all the Friends to attend her book launch. This will take place at St Thomas’s on Sunday 25 September at 6pm, when she will be in conversation with John Pritchard, the former Bishop of Oxford.  If you would like to attend, please let Sarah know by emailing her at by Friday 17 September so that she can keep an eye on numbers.


Last year we were unable to hold our usual Annual General Meeting in the Village Hall. It looks as though this year we’ll be able to manage it! It would be wonderful if you could come along on Wednesday 30 September to hear about what has happened with the library over the last year or two and what is being planned for the future. Refreshments will be served from 10.30am. Papers will be sent out closer to the time.


Jacqui Gray

Chair, Friends of Goring Library

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Call for Volunteers

Residents across Oxfordshire have continued to benefit from the county’s home library service during the pandemic with 8,364 library books being delivered from April to December 2020.


Oxfordshire County Council’s home library service is offered free to users in partnership with Age UK to almost 800 residents of all ages. These residents are unable to visit libraries themselves through frailty, infirmity or a disability and have no other means of getting access to loaned products. It is also available to full-time carers and those who might need the service in the short-term following illness or hospitalisation.


The service depends on a team of around 180 volunteers who supply the users with loan items on visits every three weeks. The service matches its volunteers carefully to specific residents to allow the same volunteer to visit each time. During the pandemic the number of volunteers has dropped linked to the impacts of COVID-19.


Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, Cabinet Member for Education and Cultural Services, said: "As well as council staff, I would like to thank the dedication of our team of staff and volunteers who keep this service running and offer a very valuable resource to our residents who may otherwise be isolated. The home library service is about far more than books; it offers real and meaningful connections with residents whose needs may otherwise go unnoticed. Wherever you may live in Oxfordshire, the service would welcome new volunteers to help keep up the good work."

Home visits are supported by COVID-19 safety measures with staff wearing face coverings, gloves and/or hand sanitiser and remaining at least two metres at all times from customers to keep people safe. All items collected are quarantined for 72 hours before being allowed back into the library.


Residents can volunteer to join the home library service by emailing

or calling 01865 810259.


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Oxfordshire County Council libraries are now providing home access to Ancestry Library Edition. This is courtesy of Proquest and their partner Ancestry.  For licensing reasons, this is slightly different from other online services in that you will need to sign into your Library Account and click on the Ancestry link in order to gain access.