Joy as Leeds library saved

Friends of Rawdon Library who have been campaigning to keep it open.
Friends of Rawdon Library who have been campaigning to keep it open.
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campaigners in Leeds who fought to keep their village library open have welcomed news that their building’s future is safe for at least another year.

The Friends of Rawdon Library have praised Leeds City Council’s decision to give Rawdon Library a stay of execution.

Hundreds of locals signed petitions in a bid to persuade the council not to close it.

But now, the decision to replace the building with a mobile service has been put on hold for another year while alternative solutions are discussed.

June Longley, from the Friends of Rawdon Library, said: “We’ve won the battle but we have not won the war.

“We have really got to work together for the sake of the Rawdon community to help preserve the future of the library.

“We have been given the opportunity to prove that the library is used and valued by the community so it deserves to remain open.”

Rawdon Library was on a list of 15 libraries which Leeds City Council was proposing to close and replace with mobile services under a plan expected to save £625,000 a year.

But now, council bosses have agreed to look at the possibility of Rawdon staying open and being put in the hands of the community under a system known as Community Asset Transfer. The Friends of Rawdon Library are encouraging more people to help volunteer to keep the library open and register for the service.

Ms Longley added: “We are working closely with local schools to help build on their usage.

“There is so much about the library that is unknown to many users.

“The library is still judged by issues and we need to prove that it is valued by the community.”

The remaining 13 libraries will be replaced with mobile services.

Those libraries are Allerton Bywater, Armley Heights, Belle Isle, Broad Lane in Pudsey, Holbeck, Ireland Wood, Kirkstall, Lofthouse, Osmondthorpe, Richmond Hill, Swarcliffe, Swillington and Swinnow.

* To join the Friends of Rawdon Library or for more information, email: