Volunteers Step up to Save Whiston Library
[Disclosure: David Kernick, mentioned in this article, is editor of Prescot Online.]
Thirty volunteers have written to Knowsley Council today, 30 October, to propose taking over the ownership and management of Whiston Library.
Knowsley’s councillors voted unanimously in March 2013’s budget to save money by axing funding to Whiston and Page Moss libraries. The council pointed to government cuts of £38 million as reasons for the decision.
The announcement meant the two libraries would close by April 2014 unless residents volunteered to take over themselves.
Following a public meeting on 14 October, 30 people from Prescot and Whiston added their names and contact details to a survey pledging their time and skills to running the library.
In a letter to Bernie Green, Knowsley Council’s Director of Customer and Employee Services, organiser David Kernick presented the survey results as a formal “expression of interest,” demonstrating that there was enough local interest to start formal talks with Knowsley Council.
From here, David hopes volunteers will meet to form an official Whiston Library group, before negotiating a plan with the council.
“Finding a way to keep the library open isn’t an easy task,” said David, “but with hard work and a bit of community spirit, I think we can do it.
“It’s vital we keep the building and its services, even if it means a lot of rethinking and ingenuity. We’ll need to find funding, and ultimately we’ll need many more passionate volunteers dedicated to keeping all the things we love about local libraries – learning, reading, imagination, discovery – alive in Whiston.”
To volunteer, fill in the Whiston Library survey.
Photo: Tim Pierce (licensed under Creative Commons)