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Stannington library volunteers
Stannington library volunteers

Council to continue supporting community-run libraries

28 November 2016

Community-run libraries will continue to be supported by Sheffield City Council under new funding plans.
The authority is pledging a minimum of £655,000 guaranteed support across 11 branches from 2017 to 2020. The existing support package for these branches ends in March 2017.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Libraries at Sheffield City Council, said: “Local libraries are very important and benefit people in many different ways. I’m very pleased to announce that we’re going to continue supporting the community-run branches, as well as setting out a compelling vision for a new Central Library. This shows how important libraries are to us.

“Despite the massive budget cuts imposed on us by Government we’re looking to maintain the funding next year at the existing level and then guarantee a minimum amount for the next two years. I hope this gives certainty to the library volunteers who are doing a brilliant job and delivering an important service for the people of Sheffield.”

Bob Mynors, one of the volunteer managers at Stannington Library, said: “Stannington Library welcomes the renewed package of support from the council, as this will give us some financial stability for at least the next three years. We’re also pleased that it’s not just about grants but about other forms of professional and practical support as well. This helps us to run efficient libraries, and shows how much the council values the work of all the library volunteers.”

There are 28 libraries in Sheffield.

Sheffield City Council runs 12 libraries and volunteers run the remaining 16. Responsibilities changed hands from 2014 after Government cuts meant the council could no longer afford to run them all.

Five branches run by volunteers are ‘co-delivered libraries’ which means the council pays for their building and maintenance costs. This will continue under the new arrangements.

The remaining eleven branches are ‘associate libraries’. The council supports them with funding grants and training, and these are the ones covered by the new deal.

A formal decision will be made on the new support package at Sheffield City Council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday, 30 November and will then be subject to approval by the budget council meeting which takes place in March 2017.

Visit http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/librariesfor more information about libraries in Sheffield.