We congratulate Richard Fowler, a former trustee of Community Libraries Network, for receiving a British Empire Medal for his firm commitment to voluntary public service.

Richard was instrumental in developing Harbury Village Library & Biblio’s Café into a vibrant and thriving Community Hub.
You can read more about how the library serves the local community as a Recycling Hub here.

The library is now open for five full weekdays and a half day on Saturday, and has its own website, Facebook page and Twitter account, so it is far more accessible than previously.  The importance of HVL for the provision of resources to the village, including computers, free wi-fi, printing, etc. – and, of course, books – plus the social meeting place of the café facilities should not be underestimated.

HVL has also acted as an important role model and learning resource for other communities experiencing similar changes to their library services, and there have been visits and enquiries from places like Leicestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Birmingham  and even further afield, including Essex and Lancashire.

History (harburyvillagelibrary.org.uk)

Richard will be awarded the medal by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, next year.