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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20140411006 |
|Title:||More Than 130 Volunteers Express Interest In Running Libraries|
|ID & Publication:||20140411006 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
|Subject:||Community News |
A wide range of volunteers and community groups have come forward showing an interest in running their local libraries.
Doncaster Council has spent months consulting with residents over the future of libraries in the borough, as it is forced to reduce its budget due to massive cuts in central Government funding.
With 12 libraries already being successfully run by community groups, there is a huge appetite from local people to take control of their centres, with full and ongoing support from the Council’s library service.
The results of the consultation, which will go to the Council’s Cabinet next week, see proposals for eight more libraries to become community run.
Councillor Joe Blackham, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Doncaster Council, said: ‘As a result of the disproportionate budget cuts of £109 million forced on us by central Government, we have had to look very carefully at how our services are run – including our libraries.
‘We are determined to minimise the impact of the cuts on local residents where possible and I have always said that our libraries will not close if suitable alternative arrangements can be found. The extensive consultation included replies from more than 1,300 people and more than 130 residents have already come forward to express an interest in volunteering. Cabinet will carefully consider the outcome of the consultation and make a final decision on Friday 11 April.’
Twelve libraries are currently run by community stalwarts. It is proposed that eight more out of the of the 24 will also become community run. These are Askern, Armthorpe, Bentley, Cantley, Conisbrough, Hatfield, Tickhill and Woodlands.
It is recommended that four libraries should be retained as staffed hubs: Central Doncaster Library, Edlington, Mexborough and Thorne Library.
Volunteer George Spencer is Chair of the board of Bawtry Library and said: ‘When we heard that the council was looking for volunteers to run the library, we were determined to do something about it.
‘I knew, from my work on the town council, that there were many people who would like to get involved.
‘It took some time to learn the ropes for us all but it is extremely rewarding for me and many of our volunteers to run the library. It is a community facility which we feel is needed in Bawtry.’
As part of the consultations, the Council also consulted with mobile library users and it has been proposed this service will be removed. The large majority of service users said they could use the library service in other, effective and efficient ways.
QUICK FACTS: VOLUNTEERING IN LIBRARIES
- The Council gives full training to any volunteers, including in health and safety, training on the use of the library service database, and how to use the stock and resources effectively. In addition the Council provides ongoing support including new books and stock.
- There are no costs to volunteers for taking over a library. The council pays for the overheads but saves money in that it no longer pays for full time staff.
-If you are interested in taking over a library or volunteering, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, visit your local library to find out more.
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