A LIBRARY threatened with losing its employees is one of the most cost-efficient in Kirklees.
New figures unveiled by the Examiner show that Shepley Library costs the taxpayer less per visitor than many centres which are not facing the prospect of staff cuts.
Kirklees Council unveiled a controversial plan earlier this year to withdraw paid staff from seven of its 26 libraries.
Officials hope that volunteers will come forward to replace professionals at the centres in Slaithwaite, Golcar, Honley, Kirkheaton, Lepton, Shepley and Denby Dale.
But figures uncovered by the Examiner using the Freedom of Information Act show that Shepley is the fifth most cost-efficient library in Kirklees.
Last year the council spent £26,133 on the centre, which was visited 25,048 times – £1.04 per visit.
Only Deighton, Lindley, Birstall and Thornhill Lees provided better value for money for the taxpayer.
But several libraries which are not threatened with losing staff cost significantly more than Shepley per customer.
Heckmondwike Library cost the council £1.52 per visitor in 2011/12, Holmfirth’s figure was £1.89 and Skelmanthorpe’s was £2.14.
Chris Marks, of Friends of Shepley Library and Information Centre, said she wasn’t surprised by the results.
“The figures show just how popular and well-used Shepley is,” she said.
“People come from other rural areas like Marsden to do their blue badge applications because they can park outside for free.
“The Citizens’ Advice Bureau runs sessions from the library as well so it isn’t simply a rural library.”
See next page for full table of library costs to find out how efficient your local library is
Clr Christine Smith, who represents the area on Kirklees, agreed yesterday.