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Recruits needed to save Leeds library

YOUNG CAMPAIGNERS: Drighlington Primary pupils outside Drighlington Library.

YOUNG CAMPAIGNERS: Drighlington Primary pupils outside Drighlington Library.

  • by Paul Robinson
 

A major push is under way to recruit volunteers who are needed to save a Leeds library from closure.

City council bosses announced plans in May to shut 15 libraries in a move designed to save £625,000 a year.

Drighlington Library, however, was spared from the axe, with a view to it being taken over by members of the community.

Now a steering group called The Friends of Drighlington Community has been launched to oversee the hoped-for takeover.

Today, though, the group warned that a transfer to community management would be a non-starter unless enough volunteers could be found to join their cause.

And they are urging people interested in getting involved to attend information sessions that are taking place at Drighlington Meeting Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday November 17 and 10am on Saturday November 19.

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Group member David Young said: “The group is keen to keep the library as it is, rather than have a mobile facility visiting the village a couple of times a week.

“It would not be the same as coming in and having the same interaction with people.

“We have asked people around the village what they would like to see and they have said things such as a pensioners’ club, computer club, coffee mornings and workshops, arts and craft sales. It could be a centre for it all.

“The library isn’t just a repository for books, it’s part of the community and the community needs it.

“We’ll need all sorts of staff. Even if people can only spare an hour or so a week, or even a month, it will all help.

“We want to make it a success, but to do that we need people’s help.”

Under the proposals unveiled by the council in May, the Moorland Road-based library will close in March next year if a community takeover cannot be organised.

The 15 libraries earmarked for the chop earlier this year were Allerton Bywater, Armley Heights, Belle Isle, Broad Lane, Cow Close, Holbeck, Ireland Wood, Kirkstall, Lofthouse, Osmondthorpe, Rawdon, Richmond Hill, Swarcliffe, Swillington and Swinnow.

 

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