Libraries: how to get involved

Local residents from around the Wetherby area are being invited to information sessions to find out how they can become involved in the future of their local library.

The sessions will include information about the outcomes of North Yorkshire County Council’s public consultation on the future of its library service; how it affects individual local libraries; and how residents can become involved as volunteers at their library.

Sessions locally are going to be at Sherburn next Thursday (October 15) from 2pm to 6pm; and at Tadcaster on Monday, October 12, also from 2pm to 6pm.

In July, the county council’s executive agreed a revised set of proposals whereby all library categories – core, hybrid, and community managed – will need volunteers to maintain current opening hours.

The key outcomes of the consultation were:

l a core library in each district with a combination of 60 per cent of current staffing levels and volunteers. They are in Harrogate, Malton, Northallerton, Richmond, Scarborough, Selby and Skipton.

l large and busier hybrid libraries, servicing significant resident and day-time populations, will need a combination of 40 per cent of staffing and 60 per cent volunteers. They are in Filey, Knaresborough, Pickering, Ripon, and Whitby

l the remaining 21 community managed libraries will need a group to take on the management of the library as well as volunteers to run it, with additional dedicated staffing hours per week allocated to support the volunteers. If volunteers do not become involved the library will close.

The information days will be operated on a drop-in basis to give residents the opportunity to talk to library managers and find out more about how they can be involved in the future delivery of local library services.

Sessions are being held across the county and anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering opportunities or who would consider being part of a management group are invited to attend.

Residents who have ideas about the sort of services they want to see being delivered from their library, or have thoughts about the best ways to make libraries sustainable, are welcome to go along and contribute their views.