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Helmsley Community Library needs YOU!

New chapter begins as Helmsley Library taken over by volunteers from 1st April

The countdown is on for the launch of Helmsley Community Library, which from 1st April will be run entirely by volunteers – and it’s putting an urgent call out for extra pairs of helping hands.

A steering group is asking members of the town if they can spare a couple of hours – whether it’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly – to help man the library, to allow it to keep offering the same valuable services it does currently. Training is provided, and volunteers would always work in pairs.

In 2014, North Yorkshire County Council announced plans to change the way library services in the region operated. It was recommended that Helmsley became a Community Managed library, with a community group responsible for the premises, management and running of the service, but with a contribution to the building operating costs from the Council, along with training and equipment. If no community group had come forward, the library would have had to close.

Thanks to the hard work of the Helmsley Community Library Group, the library will remain open 16.5 hours a week, and will continue to offer a wide range of services and facilities for local people. These include lending books, DVDs, audio books and online magazines, free use of computers, activities for all age groups, a local information point, renewing of bus passes and access to books for research and learning.

Jeanne Brown, who chairs the Helmsley Community Library Steering Group and trustees, working with other volunteers, said: “Helmsley Library is a vital community resource, and we couldn’t see it taken away. It’s important for so many age groups in the town, young and old. As well as all the services it offers, it’s a safe place for vulnerable people, and a place where people can come and see a friendly face. That cannot be underestimated. But we need you. Without volunteers we can’t open. We don’t need people to commit to full days or huge chunks of time, if you could just spare a couple of hours once a month it would be a huge help – and it’s so rewarding. We’d like to open the same hours as the library does currently, but it will depend on volunteers and we are willing to be flexible. People are welcome to come and chat to us to find out more.”

For more information call 01609 534555 or email helmsleylibrary@gmail.com