Donington Library’s fate still in limbo

Councillors Nick Worth, Peter Lorimer and Jane King at Friday's meeting. Photo: SG300813-227TW
Councillors Nick Worth, Peter Lorimer and Jane King at Friday's meeting. Photo: SG300813-227TW

The fate of Donington’s closure-threatened library is in limbo with no volunteers so far stepping forward to run it.

A packed public meeting at the Ruby Hunt Centre on Friday heard county councillor Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, explain why the authority is passing more than 30 of its libraries into private hands.

If no companies or volunteers step forward to run libraries, communities like Donington will be left only with visits from mobile libraries.

District councillor Jane King, who organised the meeting, said the parish council will debate the future of the library on Thursday and volunteer groups have their meetings too.

Coun King said some volunteers belong to more than one group and she’s not certain they can take on the library as well.

She said: “The ideal situation is we want the library to stay exactly as it is with trained librarians.

“We as a group are fairly disgusted that this is the way it is going.

“At one time you used to have to go to university and get a qualification to become a librarian and now it appears that the goalposts have been moved again and anybody can do it with a bit of training.

“The majority of people want to have a professional service.

“Are doctors going to be obsolete and we get somebody in off the street?”

Coun King said the county council had missed opportunities to make money out of its building in Donington as there is a vacant flat above the library and a huge area of land at the back.

She said the village has been told it can use the existing library building if volunteers step forward and villagers are desperate not to have another empty building in Donington.

The county council’s consultation on libraries ends on September 30.

More than 2,500 people have filled in questionnaires and there have been 350 letters and emails.

Coun Worth said: “Some people would like to see libraries become multi-use buildings, incorporating other services such as cafes and heritage centres.”

Others have suggested ways of raising money.