Event Organisation Guidelines

Who’s in Charge?

For each event, the Board designates an ‘Organiser’ – these notes are for his/her guidance.


Book accommodation as early as possible, the Community Room holds up to 40 people, is available to hire for community activities at reasonable rates (see Health & Safety below re fire regulations).

Visit the Library Services web-site , speak to a Library Assistant or E-mail: Bookings.CentralLibrary@Cambridgeshire.gov.uk; the invoice for the room hire should be sent to the Treasurer.


The Community Room has a screen and projector (property of Library Services) and speakers (bought by FRRL)  – presenters need to provide their own lap-tops – a second projector is available to borrow from the Central Library – e-mail Margot Eagle


  • Agree suitable date and time with FRRL Board (the Library Services manager is receives all paperwork).
  • Check no clashes with other local events.


Experience shows that requesting donations rather than charging for admission works well – encouraging attendance and promoting inclusivity – attendance rarely exceeds capacity.

For some events, however, e.g. film club/wine-tasting, charging is appropriate.

Health & Safety

  • Ensure that the number attending events does not exceed the limit set for fire safety – ask for attendees to book a place (by e-mail) – and/or include a statement in publicity: ‘There is a limit on numbers attending events to meet fire regulations, FRRL regret that admission may be refused when this number is reached’.
  • When planning the event, consider any potential areas of risk and take action as appropriate (e.g. trailing wires, sharp tools).
  • In an E-mail to a Board member (James Berry, 9 March 2016), Maggie Brown (Volunteer Development Manager, CCC Community and Cultural Services) advised: ‘Activities are approved and, where appropriate, risk assessed by library staff.  Library staff do not have to be present if they are satisfied that the friends are fully briefed and trained eg, if being left to lock up the premises they should be trained in the locking up procedure and alarm setting. Under these circumstances Friends are covered by CCC pub lib ins.’

Presenter/Speaker Fees

  • Fee, discuss with speaker, most do not charge but FRRL are happy to cover expenses and pay a suitable fee (approved by Board) for ‘professional’ speakers (e.g. Mike Petty, local historian).
  • When no fee is paid, buy a gift e.g. flowers/bottle of wine as appropriate.
  • Brief the speaker about the programme/expectations: length of talk (normally 45 minutes); target audience – the age – i.e. children, teenagers, young adults etc.; audience questions – at the end etc.


As soon as possible, liaise with the FRRL Publicity, Social Media and Press Liaison Officer for help and advice.

For most events:

  • Design, print, laminate A4 posters – ideally 4 weeks in advance of an event (Library printer/laminator may be used and costs reimbursed) – display on Library notice boards/railings and any suitable local sites shops etc.
  • Post on social media, FRRL and Queen Edith’s Forum newsletters (depending on next publication)
  • For major events, e.g. Apple Day, issue press release, produce and distribute A5 flyers – FRRL have an account at Copy Studio, Clifton Road – action @:.biz
  • Inform Library Services – send E-mail to FRRL Library Assistants, relevant officers.


Note that Library Services conditions for hiring the Community Room do not permit the serving alcohol, however, FRRL have been granted a special exemption.

Where provided, no charge is made for refreshments (avoiding need for a license when wine served).

Buy wherever you prefer (Hills Road Co-op recommended) and retain receipts for reimbursement – FRRL try to be ‘green’ – organic, local, minimal recyclable packaging.

Typical requirements are:

• adult evening event: 4 bottles red , 3 white, 2 rose wine(Co-op’s Fair Trade prize-winning wines recommended around £7), 2 cartons apple juice, 2 cartons orange juice, 2 x L sparkling water, savoury snacks

• children’s event: squash, soft drinks – buy paper cups and biscuits

• coffee/tea events: cafetiere coffee/tea bags/biscuits.

Where cakes are required,  e-mail Board members a week in advance asking for home-baked contributions.

The kitchen is well-equipped with kettles, large thermos flasks, crockery, FRRL wine glasses etc.

Running the Event

A week in advance: e-mail the Trustees (and any helpful friends) to ask for volunteers to help with ‘front-of-house’, clearing up – allocate tasks.

On the Day:

• For events outside opening hours, arrange to collect keys (for staff and main entrances) from a key holder (see Trustees list) and note alarm code.

• Arrive in good time – about 40 minutes before the start.

• Turn on heating, if required, by adjusting thermostat on wall near ‘A’ General Fiction book shelf.

• Main light switches are on a pillar near the sofas and on the lobby walls.

• As required, arrange chairs in rows; set up projector and screen, put up bunting/decorations.

• Set up drinks table (in the main library often works well) and ask someone to serve; there are no hard and fast rules, the main thing is that people pass the table as they come in!

• Remember to display a collecting box (there should be spares in the kitchen cupboards) on the drinks table in a prominent position.

If appropriate, add the laminated sign (also in the kitchen cupboards) stating “This event is free, but donations are always much appreciated”.

Display FRRL membership leaflets.

Facilitate event, deliver house-keeping announcement: 

‘There are toilets through the kitchen (point) and at the rear of the Library (point).  In the unlikely event of fire, please leave via one of the two entrances at the front of the Library and assemble on the pavement outside the Library (point).”

Welcome and thank the speaker.

• Count donations and pass to Treasurer with any receipts for expenses to be reimbursed.

After the Event:

Designate a helper, preferably a Trustee, to be responsible for:
– washing up
– checking that all furniture has been returned to original positions (roughly)
– checking that the Library, kitchen and garden have been cleared of all ‘debris’ – putting everything away
– switching off lights
– setting the alarm
– locking up the main Library and, for outdoor events, the two garden gates (copies of all keys are kept in a box in the cupboard behind the reception desk where the gate padlocks should be stored during the event
– returning keys to Trustee key-holders or the Library
Annual ‘Know Your Place’ Community Trail
Using previous trails as guidance, design a route with minimal tricky road crossings and some interesting points.
The format may vary from year to year – in 2016, local businesses were invited to sponsor the event but this involved much effort for a small return.
Ideally, approach local schools to distribute to pupils before the holidays begin – but this has proved challenging in the past.
Print 100 copies (or more if schools willing to distribute) and publicise as for events.
Writer-in-residence Children’s Writing Competition
Although not set in stone, it is suggested that the competition follows a similar format each year – the catchment is broadly Cambridgeshire.
W-i-R meets with previous role-holder and FRRL Education Lead/Trustees (during summer holidays)  to:
– discuss theme for the year
– agree judges/entry date
– allocate tasks
‘Publicity’ officer produces promotional material using previous year as model (Leigh Chambers will arrange to promote on Cambridge 105 Radio).
W-i-R and Education Lead contact schools – by e-mail and visiting.
W-i-R reads all entries and produces shortlist for judges – shortlisted entries are photocopied (charge to FRRL).
W-i-R agrees date of presentation ceremony with judges
Education Lead and W-i-R organise ceremony as set out above.
%d bloggers like this: