Community-run library and community centre opens in Crawshawbooth

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

People are being encouraged to support an independent library and make it a 'hub of activity'.

The library in Crawshawbooth is the first to reopen in a building that has been transferred from the county council to the community, under a flagship programme to reopen libraries which were closed almost two years ago.

Lancashire County Council's decision to transfer the ownership of the building in the centre of the village means an optimistic future for the building on Adelaide Street.

The service will now be run by Crawshawbooth Community Association, which is encouraging residents in the area to get involved and support the library.

Following the closure of 26 of the county's 73 libraries towards the end of 2016, a new administration was elected in May 2017 which decided to re-open as many libraries as possible.

The council's cabinet has so far made decisions to reopen 13 libraries, and agreed to transfer the ownership of a further seven libraries to local organisations to operate them as independent community-run libraries, with the running of the service transferred to local groups.

Crawshawbooth Community Association already manages the centre in the village on a day-to-day basis, something it has done for the past six years.

It supports a wide range of community activities and will also now provide the independent community-run library and expand its current activities.

The library will mainly provide books for children and large print editions for older and partially sighted residents. Hundreds of books will also be available to borrow that have been donated by residents as part of a community book exchange. Anyone is welcome to visit the library and take the books they would like to read and either leave a donation if they want to and return the book when they have read it, pass it on to someone else, or keep the book.

All the books in that section have been given by residents and are mainly fiction, although there is a large cookery collection.

A café staffed by volunteers, a meeting space available for community use, and daily newspapers, will be provided. A number of computers with internet access will also be available.

The building will also be used by local councilors and police for their surgeries. Knit and natter, rhythm and rhyme, and a readers’ group will run from the centre.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "Having a library, whoever runs it, within easy reach allows everyone, whatever their circumstances, to be able to access information via the internet, browse the books that are available, and find out about local events and activities.

"It's also somewhere that people can meet, and all ages can interact and share interests, which builds a sense of community and is particularly valuable for people's health and wellbeing.

"Crawshaw Booth Community Association is a very well established group, and I'm pleased that we have been able to work with them to establish the community library, which will add to the highly valued local services which they already provide.

"We're committed to reopening libraries and this marks another important step in our programme of reopening libraries across Lancashire."

Hazel Harding, Crawshaw Booth Library and Community Centre Chair, said: "We are really excited to be running the library and community centre. We've rolled our sleeves up and worked hard to get the building ready.

"The building is in a really prominent position in the village, and I've no doubt that it will soon be a hub for community activity.

"We've done a lot of fundraising ourselves to make sure that we can provide really good facilities for local residents.

"The facilities we will offer include a really good book exchange. All of these books have been kindly donated by residents and are mainly fiction, although we have a good cookery selection.

"It is pleasing that the handover has happened quickly for us. Although the opening hours are what we hoped to be able to provide, we are relying on volunteers for this and may take a little time to build up. The will is certainly there though to provide a really good service for local people."

Information regarding the opening times for Crawshaw Booth Library and Community Centre is available by calling 01706 507167.

More information is also available at http://www.crawshawboothvillagecentre.co.ukwww.crawshawboothvillagecentre.co.uk

Lancashire County Council's cabinet agreed to transfer ownership of Crawshaw Booth Library and Community Association to the local group, Crawshaw Booth Community Association, on Thursday 7 December 2017.

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Tagged as: Libraries and Archives


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