A GROUP of volunteers have helped save a village library that is just a few yards from the birthplace of the Bronte sisters, but more volunteers are needed to secure its future.

Thornton Library was one of the district’s libraries that faced closure earlier this year due to Bradford Council’s tightening budgets. However, a group of villagers stepped up to help run the vital facility, and now it is completely manned by volunteers.

The library is on Market Street, a short walk from the house Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte were born in, starting a literary legacy and placing the village in the history books.

Although the library and its facilities are still owned by the council, its future will depend on there being enough volunteers to keep it running. So far the volunteers are able to maintain the library’s opening hours, and it is still running the annual summer reading challenge - designed to get young people to continue reading during the school summer holidays.

Manny McKenzie, one of the organisers, said the volunteer groups had to “hit the ground running,” adding: “It was on the closure list so we set up a series of public meetings in Thornton about it. It started coming together in February and we took it over in April, so we had very little time to set things up.

“It is still running the same, you can still borrow books, the only difference now is that it is run by volunteers.

“We’ll still be hosting events and sessions for children.

“It was vital the library continued to stay open. We know it had a lower profile than some libraries, now we’re really trying to increase its profile. We see it as a really important part of the Thornton community - it really should be a community hub in every way possible. We want people to come up with ideas of what we can do there.

“It is only across the road from the Bronte birth place so it is very significant.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in volunteering, but we are interested in more people coming forward to help keep it running and make it an even better community hub. We know funding is always going to be an issue.”

The library, which had almost 11,000 visitors in 2015/16 opens from 2pm to 5pm on Tuesdays, 9.30am to noon on Wednesdays, 1pm to 6pm on Fridays and 9.30am to 12 noon on Saturdays. Anyone wanting to volunteer can visit the library during these times.