A FORMER chartered accountant has started a new chapter in retirement, recruiting volunteers to help him run the local library.

Jim Dowzall runs Idle’s community library at the age of 82 with a team of 26 part-timers who he brought together.

The library opened in March at the Wright Watson Enterprise Centre and operates two-and-a-half-days a week.

And it is going from strength to strength while other Bradford libraries face uncertain futures because of Council cutbacks, Mr Dowzall said.

The project receives support from Inspired Neighbourhoods, which owns the building on Albion Street, Thorpe Garth.

The library first opened its doors just two months after Bradford Council closed the old one.

Now volunteers, including pupils on work experience from Bradford Grammar School, are working hard to attract more regular users.

It already has about 60 members, ranging from children to a 94-year-old.

Bradford Central Libraries updates the library’s shelf stock, which includes 1,500 books for adults, 300 books for children and 240 audio tapes.

People can also use a bank of computers to find work, apply online and do research.

Another supporter of the project is the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford.

Mr Dowzall, who ran his own business before he retired, said: “I wanted to do something with my spare time and give something back to the community. It’s the same with all of our volunteers who come from all walks of life. Mostly they are older retired people but our youngest helper is 18.

“We have lots of three-year-olds who come for story-telling and our oldest member is 94!”

The new community library was opened on World Book Day this year by the then Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Joanne Dodds.

Cllr Jeannette Sunderland, who is chairman of Inspired Communities, helped co-ordinate the creation of the new community facility on the enterprise centre’s ground.

She said: “It’s a great success. It’s good to see people are also using the library to access other services like using the computers and getting benefits advice.”

The volunteers are working on other ideas for the New Year which include reading with mentor sessions for children and a book group for grown-ups.