The first steps to saving Golcar Library have been taken by the community.
Thirty people turned up to a meeting on Monday to discuss options to keep the library open as Kirklees Council looks to save millions.
Kirklees faces a funding gap they are looking to cut the library budget from £6.3m to £2.8m by 2017.
Councillors face options - reducing the library service to just Huddersfield and Dewsbury with the home delivery service; option one with some town library hubs that will mean councillors have to find an extra £1.4m; or options put forward by communities.
Golcar’s meeting, organised by Clr Hilary Richards following last week’s announcement, was attended by Kirklees Chief Librarian, Carol Stump to explain the options and Clr Graham Turner to explain what has been done in Denby Dale to save the library.
Carol Stump said: “No decisions have yet been taken, but we know that there will be a significant reduction is the money spent on the Library Service over the next two years.
“There will be a core service maintained at the main libraries, but branch libraries will only survive if there is the support of local people. Those areas without that support will lose their libraries and they will be replace by a ‘book drop’ scheme.”
Residents asked whether this meant that local people would have to take over financial responsibility for the library. In reply she said: “This is an option, but does not need to be considered yet. Training will be offered to local people who wish to get involved in the running of their library.”
Clr Richards urged the community to respond positively with more than 20 signed up to be involved in the running of the library so far.
She adding: “For now there needs to be a strong ‘Friends of Golcar Library’ group with volunteers willing to help in the running of the library. We will work to secure opportunities for the staff displaced, wherever possible.
“I am delighted that so many have already signed up. I hope that there will be many more.
“I will call another meeting in early September for local people to prepare a response to the library public consultation process, which will start in September.
“ I also hope that we can start to consider the proposals to keep the Golcar library service as a vibrant and precious element of the village in the future.”
The meeting was also attended by Clr Turner, a Cabinet member for Resources who has also been involved in the Denby Dale Library project that has seen the community lead the changes.
Clr Turner said: “It has taken four or five years to get a package together at Denby Dale. We are hoping to take over the library next year, but that is not necessarily the best option for every area.
“Local people here need to look at the options and decide what proposals to put forward.”
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