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Interested in running a library?

There are a couple of formal stages for organisations or groups to go through before they're considered to run their local library.

This is because we need to know there’s a solid team behind the plans, the plans are strong and forward-thinking, and most of all, sustainable.

How we will support you

Groups accepted to run a community managed library (CML) will be supported with:

  • 5 years tapered grant funding
  • up to 2 years assistance from our staff to manage the transition
  • 2 years assistance to manage the financial side
  • training and support in all aspects of running a community library, including e-learning packages.

Funds have been allocated to ensure the smooth transition of the 20 libraries to community management. This includes a shared £50,000 pot to be used for external support from the voluntary sector to help organisations establish themselves, bid to run their local library or recruit volunteers.

All 45 libraries will remain part of our statutory network.

Any organisations taking over the management of a community library will be expected to sign a service level agreement, which is a legal contract.

What you should do now

Take time to consider the information in the community managed library information pack and the individual library information packs attached to this page.

You can print these packs for free at your local library, or you can ask us to send you a printed copy. If you'd like the information in another format, please let us know.

If you're interested in finding out more, email your details to or, you can call us on 01629 536166, and we'll call you back.

Find out how to apply to run a community managed library.

If you're an individual who is interested and you need help setting up a group with other interested people, contact our team in any of these ways and we'll help.

Information to help with your application

There are now hundreds of community managed libraries across the country and there's a growing amount of advice, information and help available online. The following may be useful if you are thinking about applying to run a community managed library:

Our policies

There are a number of policies referred to in our information packs.

Full details will be provided to successful organisations before a community managed library is handed over. However, the following policies can be found on our website:

Volunteering in a community managed library

If you're interested in volunteering in, but not applying to manage a community managed library, we'd like to hear from you.

We will be undertaking a formal process to award the running of community managed libraries to suitable groups. When this has happened at the library you're interested in, we'll write to you to tell you how to get in touch with the group and find out more about volunteering with them. We may also contact you about meetings or events at the library which may be of interest to you.

For full details of how we treat your personal data, see our privacy notices.

If you are interested in opportunities to volunteer at other libraries, not being considered for community management, see our information on volunteering in a library.