Village volunteers take over libraries

First published in Skipton & The Dales

Libraries in Embsay and Gargrave are to be run by volunteers following the approval of North Yorkshire County Council.

Both libraries will be formally handed over to the communities on May 1 after the council approved their business plans.

Embsay Library is to be run by the Embsay and Eastby Community Library Group and will be based in the village hall.

The group, a registered charity, aims to maintain the viability of the library and information service, and also to increase its use by extending opening hours.

Gargrave Library will continue to be based in the village hall and will be run by the Gargrave and Malhamdale Community Library Management Committee.

The parish council is covering accommodation costs for at least the first three years.

Communities had to come up with business plans to keep their libraries open after the council’s announcement last year that it was to cut its libraries budget by around £2 million.

Libraries in major towns, such as Skipton were to remain open, while village libraries were to close – unless they could be taken over by their communities.

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