A group of volunteers has officially taken over the running of Roade Library from Northamptonshire County Council .
This is the first of a number of libraries across the county which will be run entirely by community groups as part of a review of the authority’s Library Service.
Other handovers across the county are scheduled to follow in the coming weeks and months as arrangements are finalised.
Cllr Lizzy Bowen, deputy leader of the county council said:
“I’m delighted that we’ve reached this milestone where a dedicated group of volunteers will take over the running of Roade Library. This is really quite an achievement and I’d like to thank everyone who has made this possible.
“This whole process has only been imaginable because of the passion people in the county have for their local libraries and their enthusiasm to make a difference in their communities.
“The Library Service Review has been a lengthy and considered process where groups have been empowered to take on day-to-day running of the libraries, which have always been regarded as safe spaces for people of all ages to study, relax and seek inspiration.”
Plans to safeguard the long-term future of the libraries took a step forward last month with the approval of business cases submitted by community groups.
In total, 22 libraries are scheduled to become community managed non-statutory libraries. So far, 17 of these have had their business cases approved, while the county council is still working with the remaining five libraries to further develop their business plans.
The strategy aims to retain as many libraries as possible with 14 to be managed directly by the county council, satisfying the council’s statutory duty.
A further five libraries will provide statutory services and be managed by community groups.