Wollaston library volunteers ready to lend a hand

A Wollaston volunteer-run library is getting ready for its official opening next month.

By Alison Bagley
Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 4:00 pm
Volunteers ready: l-r Jane Boddington, Amanda Atkinson, Mary Burbidge-
Volunteers ready: l-r Jane Boddington, Amanda Atkinson, Mary Burbidge-

More than 20 members of the community have volunteered to staff the service after Northamptonshire County Council's decision to close 17 libraries unless groups stepped-in.

Wollaston Library volunteer coordinator, Amanda Atkinson has organised a grand relaunch on Saturday, February 1 and wants the whole village to turn out to celebrate the achievement.

She said: "Everyone in the village is invited and hopefully as many people as possible will come to support the re-launch.

Wollaston Library in Newton Road,

"At about 11.30am there will be a grand opening ceremony with a special guest or two, a ribbon cutting, some fizz and cake."

The library building in Newton Road, which is in the process of being sold to a private company, will be rented out by a new business managed by a board of community library directors.

Library supporter and local estate agent, Nicholas Sinnott, said: "The Wollaston Community Library will continue in its current county council library location on Newton Road.

"The building has been purchased by a local business and will be let back to the community library at a modest rate.

The children's library

"The day-to-day running costs of the library are budgeted to be met from a combination of grants, donations, sponsorship and income generated from the charity shop set up to help support the library when NCC first suggested cuts to the service some years ago.

"Located further along Newton Road, the Thrift Shop is a busy hive of activity on a Saturday morning and gratefully receives all good quality clothing and bric-a-brac to re-sell.

"Both the community library and the Thrift Shop are staffed entirely by volunteers with the aim to ensure that Wollaston continues to enjoy a library service, as it has for many years."

Volunteers have received training on the equipment to ensure a smooth transition.

Initially open for four days a week, in four-hour blocks, two volunteers will be on hand to help with lending books which will still be supplied by Northamptonshire's library service.

Mrs Atkinson, a part-time exam invigilator, said: "It's good that we have been given the opportunity to run it but it should never have happened.

"There are lots of things we can offer and because it's our building we can decorate. Apart from the decor and the window display we won't change things drastically.

"We want to be a village hub and a community space. We have a room at the back we can hire out for meetings, Rhymetime singing sessions will return and we have an after-school craft club which will continue.

"We will look to open longer in the future. We are committed to running it and we want to be positive."

The opening hours will: Mondays and Tuesdays from 2pm to 6pm; Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm and Saturdays from 11am to 1pm.