A village library has opened a new chapter by becoming the first in the Bradford district to be staffed by community volunteers.
Addingham led the way on Tuesday as the first community in the district to take over its library from Bradford Council.
Although the voluntary librarians will still have the help of Bradford Council library staff for the next few weeks, they have now taken over behind the counter in Addingham Library, Main Street.
The library is now open for more than twice the hours it was under Bradford Council management, and has around 40 volunteers.
Addingham was one of five libraries earmarked earlier this year for closure under Bradford Council cutbacks.
People in Denholme and Wrose are expected to take over their own libraries in the next fortnight, while Wilsden is also working towards taking on its library.
Craven councillor and Addingham Community Library chairman, Adrian Naylor, said “This is a milestone for all those involved in the project. It has taken a big effort from all those involved since we decided to save the library back in April to taking control today. I would like to say thank you to all those volunteers and library staff from Bradford who have worked together to make this a reality.”
The Old School building, which houses Addingham Library, is owned by Addingham Parish Council.
A group of volunteers got together to form Addingham Community Library, and recently gained charity status. Voluntary librarians received training from Bradford Council.
Villagers dropped in to see their new librarians on the opening day, and signed up a new member for the library, which continues to be linked to Bradford Council’s library services. The next step will be to look at ways of improving facilities and services, and seeking funding for these.
Coun Naylor said a questionnaire will be distributed to all households in the village shortly, giving residents the chance to contribute to the way the library is run in future.
The library will be closed on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday, open from 9am to 1pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays, from 1pm to 7pm on Thursdays and from 2pm to 5pm on Fridays.