After nearly 18 months of hard work by Boroughbridge Area Community Library Association (BACLA) and North Yorkshire County Council, the library is about to enter a transitional period. BACLA will take on responsibility for its operation with assistance from local staff until 31 March next year to ensure that the full handover from 1 April 2017 is as seamless as possible.
It will now be known as Boroughbridge Community Library and Resource Centre to signify its enhanced role in providing a programme of activities and events for local people while maintaining and building on the provision of information, IT and home delivery services.
BACLA, which already runs the library with volunteers on Wednesdays, stepped forward when budgetary savings meant that the County Council was no longer able to fully fund the facility. BACLA was keen to be ahead of the game and take on responsibility for the building and library before 1 April 2017 deadline while also seeking further benefits for the community from its involvement.
The library will continue to have support from the County Council for the stock, IT, staffing to support volunteers and professional guidance while the community will benefit from the involvement of BACLA in delivering a local volunteer-led service which includes a new base for Boroughbridge Community Care.
County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Libraries, said:
I am really pleased that the community group has got to this stage through a lot of hard work and I wish them every success for the future. It is all about community groups utilising buildings such as these to provide a range of services to the benefit of everyone.
In wishing them well, I would like to stress that we will be working alongside them to ensure continued success in the spirit of true partnership.
Ian Hick, the chairman of BACLA, said:
We are very pleased that, through a process involving hard work and goodwill on both sides, our aspiration of becoming a community library serving the Boroughbridge area, working in partnership with County, has finally come to fruition.
Opening hours will be unchanged for the moment and anyone who wants to be involved in the venture should contact Judith Burton or John Helliwell on contact@BoroughbridgeLibrary.org.uk
Groups of volunteers at a further 20 libraries will be working hard in preparation for the transition on 1 April 2017. Anyone who wants to help to keep their local library open should go to www.northyorks.gov.uk/libraryvolunteers