A LIBRARY in the Staffordshire Moorlands has begun a new era after volunteers took over stewardship of the venue this week. Staffordshire County Council announced last year that it would transfer the library over to a voluntary group, a scheme which has been happening at a number of libraries across the county, including the one in Werrington. A group of library-lovers clubbed together in November 2018 and formed Cheadle Community Library Group to launch a bid to take over the reins of Cheadle Library, amid fears the venue could close.
They went on to win the bid to manage the library and officially took over on Monday, July 15.
Volunteer Co-ordinator Jenny Lingham is one of seven trustees who, along with around 25 other volunteers, has taken on the task of managing the book-loan venue.
She told the Times and Echo: “I think it’s very important that we try and keep up the tradition of reading actual books.
“I’ve always been an avid reader, ever since I was a small child.
“I’ve always gone to the library regularly.
“I went with my mum and dad when I was little, I brought my children to the library and now that I’ve got grandchildren, I take them.”
Staffordshire County Council librarians are set to stay with the volunteers for the first three weeks to help them to bed into their roles comfortably.
The long-term ambitions of the new team is very clear.
Jenny said: “First of all we are undertaking to keep the library running as it has always been.
“We also hope the groups who use the library continue to do that and we hope to come up with new ideas.”
Groups, such as the U3A, use the library, which is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm.
Jenny said: “We hope we can encourage more people to come and use the facilities.
“We want to try and make it a community hub.”
The Summer Reading Challenge scheme, which is run by LoveReading4Kids, is an initiative to get children reading books with this year’s theme titled ‘Space Chase.’
Cheadle Library is taking part in the event ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer.
Jenny added: “It can get very busy, especially in the school summer holidays with children coming in.
“There’s going to be a scheme for children to read a minimum of six books over the six-week holidays and if they manage it they’ll get a medal.”
In order to do this, a considerable number of volunteers are needed, and the library is looking for more people to join.
Jenny said: “We are aiming for 30 volunteers on top of the seven trustees.
“People come and go and some may decide one day they can’t manage it any more for whatever reason, so we are always going to be needing people.”
Jenny is asking anyone who would like to volunteer at Cheadle Library to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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