Volunteer appeal for community libraries

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LIBRARIEs which are controversially set to be handed over to community groups as part of council cost-cutting still need volunteers to run them, council bosses admitted yesterday.

Doncaster Council unveiled plans last year to off-load 12 of the borough’s libraries to be run by volunteers, and the scheme is set to begin in the next four weeks.

Yesterday, the authority said “really good progress” had been made with around 200 volunteers coming forward, but appealed for more people to cover the required hours.

A council spokesman said: “If you are interested in giving any amount of your time, whether it’s one hour a month or three hours a week, whatever you can manage, please get in touch.

“The role of the volunteer mainly includes shelving books and tidying the shelves, helping customers with using computers and searching for information.

“Volunteers will also answer enquiries, put books and items onto a library card and reserve stock for customers which is then delivered from other libraries across the borough.”

The council said no specific qualifications were required, but added volunteers will need to have good people skills, to understand confidentiality and be prepared to go undergo basic training.

The spokesman added; “Although there will not be council employed library staff on site, there will be a strong partnership between the council’s library service and the volunteers.

“Each library will still receive new books, have computers and internet facilities, and will still have events and activities for children and adults run by the council’s library staff.”

The 12 libraries to become community managed are Balby, Bawtry, Bessacarr, Edenthorpe, Intake, Moorends, Rossington, Scawthorpe, Sprotbrough, Stainforth, Warmsworth, Wheatley.

Rossington, Stainforth, and Bawtry libraries will be the first to change over.