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Community-run library for Catshill moves step closer
3:00pm Tuesday 23rd October 2012 in News
PLANS to turn Catshill Library into a community-run facility have moved a step closer after receiving support from leading councillors.
The findings from a 12-week consultation asking residents for their thoughts on the plans to move the Barley Mow Lane-based library to Catshill Middle School have been discussed by cabinet members in County Hall.
Councillors were told more than half of the respondents were in favour of closing the current facility and moving it to a volunteer-led service at the Meadow Lane-based school.
The proposal is for potential volunteers to receive training and support from the council's libraries and learning service.
Of 159 respondents to the consultation, more than 50 said they would be keen to get involved.
The consultation was launched as part of a countrywide review of libraries which seeks to save £1.8 million - 28 per cent - from the service’s current budget.
The approach so far has been to share some library buildings with other services, work closer with partners on the running and delivery of services, and to see where residents could get more involved.
Catshill Library, described by Worcestershire County Council as the most under-used in the county, has just more than 1,000 members, compared with the county average of 9,500 per branch.
Worcestershire County Council's cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, councillor John Campion, said: "Catshill Library in its current form just isn't financially viable.
“That said, we recognise that for those who do use it is a valued service, which is why we set about working with the local school to think of an alternative way of providing a local library in the village.
“We believe the solution of us supporting a volunteer-run library is a really innovative option."
The next step will be for the proposals to go before full council meeting in November, when final approval could be given.