Dorset libraries to be run by volunteers

Related Stories

Volunteers are set to take over the running of seven rural Dorset libraries in September which had originally been earmarked for closure.

The county council has approved business plans submitted by the seven community groups, who will fund and maintain the buildings.

IT services and a regular supply of new books would be provided by the council.

Two libraries in Corfe Castle and Portland Underhill, Dorset, are still scheduled to close.

'Very encouraging'

The seven planned community libraries are in Chickerell, Puddletown, Wool, Burton Bradstock, Charmouth, Colehill and Stalbridge.

Mike Chaney, spokesman for the Association of Friends of Dorset Libraries (AdLib), said of the original planned closures: "It's probably only a minority of people affected, the elderly, the poor and the young.

"But they are the very people who are coming out worst in all the belt-tightening across the country.

"We think this is a community worth providing for as a volunteer."

In July 2011, the Conservative-led county council voted to withdraw funding from nine libraries to save £800,000 a year by 2012.

Under the new plans the council would provide £5,500 a year for staffing, books and IT services, with other costs covered by the volunteers.

Mr Chaney, who is also chairman of the Friends of Puddletown Library, said volunteers at his local library would be paying about £3,500 a year for rent, lighting, heating and insurance.

Funds would be raised by membership subscriptions and donations from the local community.

Dorset County Council's head of community services Paul Leivers said the plans for community-run libraries were "very encouraging" and added that the council would ensure "buildings are in a reasonable condition" before handing them over.

More on This Story

Related Stories

BBC Dorset



Min. Night 9 °C

Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

  • People take part in an egg-cracking contest in the village of Mokrin, 120km (75 miles) north of Belgrade, Serbia on 20 April 2014In pictures

    Images from around the world as Christians mark Easter Sunday

  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world


  • An aerial shot shows the Olympic Stadium, which is closed for repair works on its roof, in Rio de Janeiro March 28, 2014.Extra Time Watch

    Will Rio be ready in time to host the Olympics in 2016? The IOC president gives his verdict

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.