More bookworms needed at Melbourn library

PUBLISHED: 10:24 27 April 2010 | UPDATED: 13:57 19 May 2010

A VILLAGE library will not be closing for the forseeable future, but is looking for more bookworms to volunteer their services. Reports had suggested that Melbourn library access point (LAP) was facing the axe as Cambridgeshire County Council look to make

A VILLAGE library will not be closing for the forseeable future, but is looking for more bookworms to volunteer their services.

Reports had suggested that Melbourn library access point (LAP) was facing the axe as Cambridgeshire County Council look to make a £2million saving from the county's library service.

But the library, which is housed in a temporary building at the village college and is staffed entirely by volunteers, is set to stay open for at least another 18 months.

Mike Stapleton, one of the librarians, said: "The good news is that the library is likely to stay open at least until the end of 2011. The bad news is that the Library service is under intense pressure to cut costs.

"The Service has made it clear to us that our performance ought to be better."

The LAP in Melbourn has been open since the old village library closed six years ago, and is currently open for 11 hours a week.

Mr Stapleton explained that the cost of running the library to the county council is approximately £10,000 a year, which covers admin and the purchase of new books.

"So in order to convince the Council to go on supporting us we have to improve the return on their expenditure," he said.

The librarians are calling on more volunteers to run workshops, such as the popular story-telling sessions which take place on Thursday mornings.

They would also like to hear from anyone who would like to use the building for other purposes when the library is closed, and are always on the look out for more books.

Mr Stapleton said: "Our long term future depends on the Parish Council finding us a new home. At best this is likely to take two or three years.

"It is a vital part of the village infrastructure and it is a meeting place for people. We need help from everyone to enable us to survive in these hard time but at the end of the day its relationship between people really matter. New Members are really good news."

For more information on the library call 01763 269956 during opening hours.

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