Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire's first community library opens in Kineton

The first library in Warwickshire to be run by a community group has officially opened.

Kineton branch is now run by Friends of Kineton Library after Warwickshire County Council's cabinet approved cuts to the service last year.

By the end of March, it will be joined by another 11 community-managed libraries in Warwickshire.

Community libraries will still be supported by Warwickshire Library Service.

'Maintain the availability'

Mike Harris, chairman of Friends of Kineton Library, said: "It's very important that we have a library in village, particularly for the elderly who will be able to have access to books.

"The village is losing facilities, such as the police and fire stations, and as ordinary citizens we can't do much about it.

"But when the library closed, we could do something about it and maintain the availability of the library to people in the village."

Kineton Parish Council worked quickly to ensure the library at the village hall was running three months before Warwickshire's deadline for community libraries to be operational.

The libraries will still be able to issue and renew books on Warwickshire Library Service tickets and accept the return of books from any Warwickshire County library.

Image caption Mr Harris was pleased with the good reaction and positive support on the opening day

Volunteers will be able to assist customers in joining the library, reserving items, memberships and general inquiries.

The library is open on Mondays and Saturdays, but volunteers hope to extend the opening hours once they have settled in and training is in place.

Portfolio holder for Customers, Access and Physical Assets, Councillor Colin Hayfield, said: "The community of Kineton should be congratulated for the swift manner in which it has responded to the challenge of providing a community library.

"The county council will continue to work with the parish council and we are delighted to offer them our full support."

Other libraries that will become community managed include Bidford-on-Avon, Keresley, Studley and Dunchurch.

Alternative arrangements are being explored at libraries in Kingsbury and Binley Woods.

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