Tuesday, May 28, 2019
People are being encouraged to support an independent library and make it a 'hub of activity'.
A community-run library has opened in Penwortham in a building that transferred from the county council to the community in February, under a flagship programme to reopen libraries which were closed almost three years ago.
The library opened in the former Penwortham Youth People's Centre building on Tuesday 21 May. It will be open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 4pm.
The service is being run by Penwortham Town Council, who are encouraging residents in the area to get involved and support the independent library.
Lancashire County Council's decision to transfer the ownership of the well-known building in the town means an optimistic future for the new library on Priory Lane.
Penwortham Town Council already manages the centre in the town on a day-to-day basis, something it has done for the past six months.
It supports a wide range of community activities and will also now provide the independent community-run library and expand its current activities.
Hundreds of books will be available to borrow, some that have been donated by local people. Anyone is welcome to visit the library and borrow books.
Meeting spaces are available for hire for community use, refreshments and daily newspapers will be provided. A number of computers with internet access will also be available.
Parent, carer and toddler groups, dance and drama classes and youth groups will also 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 is a great resource for a local community.
"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.
"Penwortham Town Council 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."
Steve Caswell, Penwortham Town Council Manager, said: "We are delighted that the new library is opening and we look forward to providing this service for the people of Penwortham.
"We intend to develop the use of this centre so that as many of the local community as possible can benefit from what is available, and ensure that it is a real hub for community activity."
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 reopen17 libraries, and agreed to transfer the ownership of a further five libraries to local organisations to operate them as independent community-run libraries, with the running of the service transferred to local groups.
Information regarding the opening times for the community library in Penwortham is available by calling 01772 750533, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about Lancashire libraries is available at www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries, or by calling 0300 123 6703.
Anyone who lives or works in Lancashire can join a Lancashire library, either online or by visiting in person. Membership is free and there are no age restrictions.