Volunteers step in to save library
'Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better'
American writer Sidney Sheldon, quoted by MP John Grogan at the opening of Silsden Community LibraryAbove: Silsden Community Library was officially opened on Saturday, June 24. Town Mayor Peter Robinson and Keighley constituency MP John Grogan are pictured with members of the steering group who came forward to keep the library open after it fell victim to government cuts in public spending. Seated at front are secretary Caroline Whitaker (right) and Katie Whittingham. Between them is academic librarian Jennie Winterburn, the only member of the steering group with library expertise. Standing left to right are treasurer Sue Moore, Mike Batty, Bridget Rout, chairman Peter Cannon, Julie Holland, Mayor Peter Robinson, MP John Grogan and Val Goddard, volunteers co-ordinator.
Above: the tape to mark the occasion was cut by the youngest member on the books, 13-month-old Ryan Perry, and the most senior user Irene Atkinson. Ryan was helped by his mum, Cheryl Gaukroger. The library, based at the Town Hall, closed at the beginning of April when Bradford district council ceased paying for staffing. It reopened on June 5th as a community asset, still using books and services provided by the council as before. At the packed opening, the MP described the Town Hall as a precious building, which had started as the Mechanics Institute in 1884. He praised the library steering group and thanked all the volunteers for making the takeover possible.
Above: steering group chairman Peter Cannon (centre) is pictured with some of the more than 60 volunteers who have come together to take over the running of the library from the council, whose income has been slashed under the government's austerity measures.
Above: Mandy Webb (centre) is the manager of Bradford council's programme of transferring 16 libraries to full or joint community control. She is assisted by Dionn Hood (left) and Sue Rollins.
Above: an estimated 100 people visited Saturday morning's library event.