Library volunteers plea ‘putting an end to council cuts politics’

Coun Nick Worth outside Holbeach Library.
Coun Nick Worth outside Holbeach Library.
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A Lincolnshire county councillor at the forefront of plans to scale down the library service says volunteers coming forward to run a community hub in the town he represents are ready to put politics behind them and focus on the future.

Coun Nick Worth is appealing for help to run Holbeach Library and prepare for when services are transferred in the middle of October – and the response so far has been “very positive”.

Volunteer

I am retired and want to give something back to my community

Last week, in his role as executive member for libraries, Coun Worth was celebrating after a High Court judge dismissed a legal challenge to county council cutbacks that would see 15 core libraries remain run by staff while up to 30 others became “community hubs”.

Coun Worth, who has taken on the role as co-ordinator of the Holbeach community hub, said: “The volunteers are very positive about the future. They tell me they are not interested in what went on in the past.

“There are a lot of people in the area who may have retired and want to get out of the house.

“Becoming a volunteer would be perfect for them.

“We’ve had one meeting and it was a really good atmosphere. People are telling me they want to give something back to the community.”

So far 15 people have come forward to be volunteers, but Coun Worth is hoping to get a minimum of 30.

He said: “We want the role to be flexible so if people want to take two or three weeks off to go on holiday they don’t have to worry about cover.”

The main tasks will be to open up and lock up, switching equipment such as computers on and off, replacing and returning books to shelves, answering enquiries from the public on all manner of topics and keeping the library neat and tidy.

Four training sessions will be provided, which will be informal and relaxed and will cover the basic requirements of managing information, safeguarding children and adults, equality and diversity, health and safety and the operation of the library itself.

One volunteer said: “I am retired and want to fill my day and give something back to my community. It is a new challenge which I am really looking forward to.”

A wide range of experience is held by the current group of volunteers, from school librarians, retired teachers to local businessmen.

If you have a few hours to spare, call Coun Worth 07866415688 or email cllrn.worth@lincolnshire.gov.uk

Previously...

High Court sides with Lincolnshire County Council as authority blames Save Lincs Libraries for “wasting” £350,000 of taxpayers money
Warning over library opening hours cut ahead of handover
Lincolnshire library cuts in High Court once more