By Ian Dipple 03/04 Updated: 04/04 10:57
THE SPIRIT of Studley residents has been hailed after the village opened its new community library for the first time.
Tuesday's launch follows months of hard work to relocate the service into the village hall after Warwickshire County Council announced last summer Studley Library would be axed as part of £2million of spending cuts.
The new community library cost about £10,000 to set-up and has been supported by money from communications firm Talk Talk, Warwickshire County Council and Studley Parish Council which will also take on the day-to-day running costs.
Coun Paul Beaman, chairman of Studley Parish Council, said while they had wanted to keep the professionally run service they were delighted to have retained a library within the village.
"There are a lot of comments made about Studley but one of the things you will find is when there is something to fight for residents will and this is a very good example of what happens when residents work together and we can achieve it and we can make it happen," he said.
"Being able to buy books is not always an option for most families so keeping a library where children and the elderly could get to books in the village was vital."
The new library will be staffed by a team of 12 trained volunteers, with at least another 15 offering to help out when needed.
Head volunteer Joan Wallin, who used to work as a librarian in Birmingham, said: "I was absolutely incensed when I first heard they were closing the library because I think it is something everybody should have access to, particularly children, because in this day and age there are still a lot of children who don't have books in the house so I thought this was really worthwhile and something I wanted to get involved in."
The community library will open overall for just one hour less a week than the previous service and about 80 per cent of the stock in the former High Street building is out on the shelves. Residents will still be able to order books from other libraries throughout the county and the computers have been retained but access is now free. The county council will continue to replenish the book stock with fresh titles every six months and provide support and training to volunteers.
Studley county councillor Clive Rickhards added they hoped to expand the service in future including evening opening and running events and activities.
"We do hope to make this a cultural centre and have literary events and maybe some poetry and music," he said.
"This has really helped to bring the community together."
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