A new information hub, library and resource centre for the Yorkshire co-operative movement opened its doors in Sheffield last month.
Called ‘Principle Five’, after the fifth international principle of the worldwide co-operative movement, the centre was set up by Co-operatives Yorkshire and Humber and is based at Aizlewoods Mill on Nursery Street in the city, a co-op owned building and home of the Sheffield Co-operative Development Group.
Principle Five states: “Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.”
The centre is in keeping with co-operative principle of openness and information. It houses current and historical reports of many co-operative societies, plus pamphlets from the Co-operative Group, Co-operatives UK and other organisations.
There are also past editions of the Journal of Co-operative Studies (UKSCS), the Co-operative Review, Co-operative Gazette and The Millgate Monthly, plus archive material of both national and local interest to co-operative historians.
The now substantial lending library started with 25 books, but has grown thanks to the generosity of the East of England Co-operative Society and can be used by members and researchers.
The centre also aims to hold talks, classes and film screenings as part of its educational programme.
A spokesman said: “Without informed members, there would be a failed movement. Readings and education rooms were a common feature of all co-operative stores throughout the years of the movement’s growth.”
More information on the co-operative principles are available from the International Co-operative Alliance.
For information about the Sheffield Co-operative Development Group contact: email@example.com