Church library can inspire others

Church library can inspire others

A UNIQUE library in Gomersal could be a model for others to follow as council cuts bite.

The Grove Community Library on Oxford Road began in March due to demand from villagers.

Kirklees Council’s mobile service visits for half an hour a fortnight at times when many cannot attend.

So parishioners at the Grove United Reformed Church created a public library inside the building.

Staffed by 25 volunteers who work two-hour shifts, it has books, CDs, DVDs and a children’s play area.

It boasts an online catalogue that can be searched and, like other libraries, is free to join.

But there are no fines – instead, borrowers pay 20p for books, 50p for CDs and children’s DVDs and £1 for other DVDs.

Committee member Jean Scaife said Gomersal’s lack of a library provided the original impetus.

She said: “We decided to try it for 18 months to see if there was demand for a library.

“The mobile service doesn’t visit often and Cleckheaton Library is a long way up a hill for anyone with children or who is older or disabled.”

The stock, including major authors such as John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell and Enid Blyton, is mostly donated.

Start-up costs, including fitting shelving around the pews, were paid for by the church. The library has computers, free wi-fi and offers IT courses, refreshments and meeting rooms.

Meanwhile, council cuts could see all Kirklees libraries except Dewsbury and Huddersfield axed.

Jean added: “Even the mobile service is under threat, so perhaps what we’re doing could be an inspiration for others.”

The library is open 9.45am to 1.30pm on Tuesdays, 9.45am to 1.30pm and 3pm to 6pm on Fridays and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays.

More volunteers are wanted and new borrowers are always welcome. Call 01924 955400 for more details.

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