Leeds & West Yorkshire

North Yorkshire library jobs to go

Library services in North Yorkshire will lose 36 jobs, about a fifth of the workforce, in a shake-up announced by the county council.

The measures include plans to run 41 libraries with the remaining staff, or volunteers, or a combination of both.

A North Yorkshire County Council report has also announced that the Malton and Norton branches will merge.

The library service currently has the equivalent of 177 full-time posts, and needs to cut £1.7m from its budget.

The council previously announced that 10 of out of 11 mobile libraries in North Yorkshire are to disappear as part of the cuts.

It has also consulted with local people and interested bodies on ways to prevent the closure of up to eight libraries in other locations.

'Massive job'

Julie Blaisdale, assistant director of libraries, said the council had been "overwhelmed" by the community response during consultation on the changes.

She also said the discussions showed how highly people valued the library service.

As well as introducing volunteers, the council said library opening hours would be reduced depending on "usage and location".

The authority would not say how many volunteers would be needed to keep the 41 libraries open.

Children's author Emily Diamond has been campaigning to keep Bilton library, in Harrogate, open.

She said she was "really sad" about the job losses, but added: "I'm pleased we can keep as many open as we can."

However, running a community library service would be a "massive job", she added.

The report will be considered by the council's executive on Tuesday, 22 November.

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