Library saving crew mark first year in service

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A team of volunteers are celebrating their success in running Sherburn and Villages Community Library for a first year since saving it from the threat of closure.

The service also welcomes customers from other villages, including Barkston Ash, Saxton and South Milford and during the past year has recorded 32,444 customer visits and 7,460 volunteer hours.

Paul Doherty, who chairs the Trust, said: “It has been a successful first year and all the wonderful volunteers who have helped keep this vital community facility open deserve a huge pat on the back.”

When North Yorkshire County Council admitted it could no longer afford to keep the library open, due to national budget cuts, Sherburn-in-Elmet Community Trust was formed and more than 70 local people offered to train as voluntary library staff.

The Trust took over running the library on April 1 last year and has honoured its pledge to keep it open four days a week, plus Saturday mornings.

There are now plans to further improve services by providing an Information Hub, advising people about public services, including transport, leisure activities and social benefits.

The first anniversary was celebrated at a social evening, with live music played by Jammin’ for Fun, six guitarists and a ukulele player who are members of Sherburn’s U3A seniors’ association.

Volunteer Jan Marshall, of Saxton, said: “The people of Sherburn and nearby villages were at risk of losing a valued service. I am very impressed by the way the library is being run by volunteers.”

Former librarian and Trust volunteer manager Deborah Raven, of Sherburn, said: “Libraries are absolutely vital, especially for children and young people.” Gordon Jack and his wife Margaret, who live in South Milford, said: “The library brings the community together.”