We are re-launching our drive to find local groups across the county who are interested in taking over the reins at one of 14 county council-run libraries earmarked for community management.
County council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis is appealing to community groups to take the opportunity now as the council begins to encourage expressions of interest again following a pause in the programme due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Lewis said:
“We greatly value our library service and we know that our communities do too. That’s why we are so keen to get going again on the drive to find groups to work with us and help us to secure the future of all our libraries and ensure they thrive and grow.
“We’re offering individuals wanting to form a group, or already established groups and organisations the chance to not only take over their local library but to shape its future, make it work for them and their communities and create tailor-made local hubs offering not just books but possibly tech, community markets, activities and creative platforms.
“The opportunities are there for the taking and we know there are people out there who will seize the chance to put libraries back into the heart of their town or village.”
The drive is part of our 'Libraries for Derbyshire' strategy which was first launched at the beginning of 2019 and included a plan to transfer 20 council-run libraries out of 45 over to community management over the coming years.
The first milestone has already been reached with the handing over of Woodville Library, now called Woodville Community Managed Library, near Swadlincote, to Circularity Association last month.
Five other groups are currently working with the council with a view to taking charge of their local libraries in the future. These libraries are Etwall, Melbourne, Old Whittington, Tideswell and Wingerworth.
Find out more about Libraries for Derbyshire and get more information about running a community library.
People will also be able to access detailed information about each library, including facts about the building, opening hours, an inventory and an 'expression of interest' form.
For successful groups support from the council will include grant funding for 5 years and assistance in the financial processes of running a community managed library for the first 2 years.