YP Letters: Volunteers have led fightback for our libraries

From: Coun Greg White (Conservative), Executive Member for Libraries, North Yorkshire County Council.

John Helliwell, secretary of Boroughbridge Community Library and Information Centre. Libraries are being run by volunteers in North Yorkshire because of funding cuts.

IN response to Roger Backhouse’s letter (‘Plight of our libraries’, The Yorkshire Post, November 23), we wholeheartedly agree that good libraries are essential to community wellbeing.

That’s why we adopted an innovative approach when faced with the need to reduce library service spending.

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Our staff worked closely with deeply-committed volunteer groups that stepped forward to take on the management of many libraries.

Thanks to the unstinting efforts of these volunteers, almost two years on, many libraries have increased 
opening hours and introduced services that respond to 
needs particular to their communities.

North Yorkshire County Council continues to put significant resources into libraries, providing all the books, the public computers and IT infrastructure, as well as professional support to our volunteers.

Enthusiastic volunteers now run 31 libraries, leaving 11 under county council management.

All our libraries are cherished and, through the determination of volunteers and the dedication of our staff, they have survived and will flourish.