OUR village library is worth keeping!
That was the message from Honley residents last night after they heard about plans to hand over village libraries to communities.
The Honley centre is one of several that could be handed over from Kirklees Council control.
But there were concerns at yesterday’s meeting, organised by Honley Book Group, about the future.
Holme Valley North Councillor Terry Lyons helped chair the meeting.
Clr Lyons said: “We were assured that the fate of the actual library is secure but staffing could be a problem.
“The library officers seemed to make out that we knew what was going on, but we didn’t.
“What we want is categoric support for the library in Honley. It’s a multi-functional place that’s much more than just books. There are computers and the schools come down to use it.
“The residents were very concerned. There were some strong feelings and the attendance was very good for the time of day considering most people were at work.
“I hope the library stays as it is. That’s what people are telling us they want.”
The fate of all the libraries will be determined after public consultation as part of a council review.
Honley Library is among several libraries which Kirklees Council has earmarked for changes as a result of budget cuts.
The library’s future was yesterday discussed at a busy meeting organised by Honley Book Group at Honley Trinity Church.
Kirklees Council announced there would be a review of all its libraries starting next month.
The review will include a public consultation with ward councillors, library staff and library users together with several public meetings.
Residents and community groups fear their village library could be closed, or scaled back, leaving them without easy access to books, music, DVDs, the internet and a meeting place.
It has been suggested that volunteers may be asked to run their local libraries if Kirklees Council withdraws its funding.
A ‘hub’ for training volunteer staff has also been mooted.
But Kirklees Council said no changes would take place before March 31, 2013.
A spokesperson for the council said: “There are currently no plans to close any libraries in Kirklees.
“Kirklees Council is committed to keeping libraries open, however set against a background of ongoing cuts in budget, we are seeking creative and imaginative ways of involving communities in a number of our village libraries.
“Council officers will be working with ward councillors to undertake a series of consultation events with the public. The aim is to make sure all sections of the community have an opportunity to be involved in discussions.
“The service offered at each of the libraries will be tailored to meet community needs using the results of this. It is anticipated that these will begin in February...
“The idea to develop community run village libraries is still at a very early stage. No decisions have been made with regard to the buildings.”