La Souterraine English Library & Information Centre

Welcome to the English Library and Information Centre, La Souterraine


  • Art Exhibition April/May – Paul Robinson
  • Library Closure Dates for 2017
  • From Thursday 20 April the library will open afternoons only from 14:00-16:30h
  • Sunday 28 May – Finger Buffet Lunch at Vieilleville

More details on all these events further down the page ……

New Conseil Members from 30 March 2017

We are delighted to announce that, following the Assemblée générale, these are the new members of the library conseil:

President – Jane Wright
Vice President – Marshall Tattersall
Secretary – Gary Loveridge
Treasurer – Jan Keable
Cafe Organiser – Sally Hill
Events Co-ordinator – Jan Pitwell
Library Organiser – Christine Seaman
Library Groups Leader – Glyn Smith
Membership Secretary and Website Editor – Amanda Tattersall
Conseil Member – Nik Johnson
Conseil Member – Rod Seaman

Thanks go to Pat Littlewood for taking all the photos and putting together a very pleasing photo board of all your conseil members.  Please feel free to talk to any one of them and they look forward to hearing from you.

Art Exhibition – Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson is our ‘in-house’ artist for April and May.  This is what Paul has to say about his work:

It is difficult to explain specifically what inspires one to paint. I have been painting all my life; to me it seems inherent to the way I look at things.

It can be as simple as the way colours meet or how shapes and objects interact with each other. Quite often inspiration is taken from the mundane things that surround you every day. Ideas develop from the act of looking and recording and trying to make sense of the visual elements you see. Sometimes I try to convey a message or comment in my paintings, a critique or response to situations in the world, whether they are social, political or humanitarian. Ultimately the resulting works always consider the formal elements and the holistic look and coherence of a painting.

I moved to France 3 years ago after a long career in the arts. After formal art training I entered employment as an illustrator, graphic designer, commercial printer then art Lecturer. Although I have always painted I really embarked on a professional career as an artist in 1996. Since then I have had numerous exhibitions in the UK, one in New York and have been represented by several galleries at art fairs around Europe.

After a year of living in France I opened my own art gallery in Montmorillon but have since relocated to my home studio. France has inspired me to paint, in a different way. I see things differently, my paintings have become calmer and have lost some of the frenetic energy of earlier paintings. This is neither good nor bad but just an evolution. The paintings on display here are based purely on observation and are a reaction to an environment and a sense of atmosphere. But the overriding emphasis, for me, is about colour, composition and the balance of an image, how it works holistically.

Library Survey

A summary of the library survey is now available to view here along with the graphs of the Yes, No and Don’t Know answers.  All individual responses are available in the library to view in a folder along with hard copies of the graphs and summary report.  Findings and actions will also be highlighted at the Assembly Generale at the end of March.  Thank you to all our members who took the time to complete the survey and to give us their views.

Would you like to get involved?

Following on from the survey and the feedback, we are looking for some volunteers to take on and ‘own’ specific roles at the library.  These are:

  • An Events Co-ordinator – Jan Pitwell has offered her services for this role
  • A Cafe Organiser – Sally Hill has agreed to take on this role
  • A ‘Members’ Pack’ Organiser
  • Someone to create publicity for events, tickets, bookmarks, etc. – Susan Hawkes has agreed to help us with this

If you have the skills or just fancy trying something different to help with the library, please get in touch with,

Library Closures for 2017

The library will be closed on the following dates:

Monday 17 April – Easter Monday (lundi de Paques)
Monday 1 May – Labour Day (Fete du Travail)
Monday 8 May – VE Day (Victoire en Europe)
Thursday 25 May – Ascension Day (jour de l’Ascension)
Monday 5 June – Whit Monday (lundi de Pentecote)
Friday 14 July – Bastille Day (jour de la Bastille)
Saturday 11 November – Armistice Day (jour de l’Armistice)
Monday 25 December – Christmas Day (jour de Noel)

French Lessons

Lizzie Snowden has changed the days she teaches at the library.  New lessons are as follows:

Thursday afternoon: Beginners 14:00-15:00h, Intermediate 15:15-16:15h, Intermediate plus 16:30-17:30h
Friday morning: Beginners 9:45-10:45h, Intermediate 11:00-12:00h.

There is no charge for missed weeks/holidays and if you have any questions or want to get in touch to  confirm attendance, please do not hesitate to contact Lizzie via email or by telephoning 07840 55672.  The cost is €10 per lesson to include a hot drink.

Brocante News

Brocante will no longer be displayed in the foyer and we are planning to hold a sale every three months to raise funds for the library. We would still like your donations of brocante which MUST be taken upstairs and given to the librarian. We welcome all donations in good, clean condition but cannot accept any electrical items as we cannot guarantee their safety. Please do not leave any donations in the foyer. Thank you for your donations.

Art Group

The Art Group has proved to be extremely popular and is starting a second class on a Monday starting 20 March. The Wednesday classes will continue as before.  Both classes will be held in the library starting at 09:30h.  For further information, please contact Glyn.

Library Membership

It’s time to renew your membership to the library for 2017.  Membership costs €12 per year per household; great value at €1/month for all that the library has to offer and we encourage everyone to attends any of the library groups to become a member.  New members joining part-way through the year will pay €1/month up to 31 December.

Upcoming Events

  • Sunday 28 May – Finger Buffet Lunch at 13:00h on the day of the Classic Car Show at Vieilleville.  Tickets will be €7/person and numbers limited to 50.  LIBRARY MEMBERS ONLY PLEASE. Tickets will be on sale later in April but you can register your interest at the library.

Local Authors

We have now compiled a list of local authors who are associated with the library.  Click on the link to have a look and you can also find their work on our bookshelves so do have a look.  We have some very talented local people.

New Book Purchases

Do you know that the library also buys a lot of books as well as receiving book donations?  We have compiled a list of books already purchased which you can find here.  If you would like the library to purchase a particular book, please talk to the librarians but please bear in mind that we don’t have unlimited funds.

Suggestions from Members

Please keep the suggestions coming in but please make them constructive and useful. We’re getting a lot of repetive suggestions so please have a look at what people have already suggested here.

library-entrance2The library building is an historic building dating from the 15th century and belongs to the La Souterraine mairie who kindly allow us to use it rent free. The library is an association and was founded in 2009. Read more about the library.