Stalbridge author Hilary Townsend launches library's new future
STALBRIDGE Library starts a new chapter this week with its official handover to volunteers.
A sign proclaiming its new name of Stalbridge Community Library was unveiled by local author Hilary Townsend who wished good luck to the venue and all those who will use it.
The ceremony included the presentation of a giant key by Tracy Long, Dorset County Council's library service manager, to Maggie Bather, the new library manager.
The handover on Tuesday was a milestone in the campaign to save the library, threatened with closure along with eight other small libraries, as part of a county council cost-cutting measure.
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Tim Lee, chairman of the library management group, paid tribute to everyone who had worked over the past 18 months to save the library.
He thanked the library staff at County Hall, especially Tracy Long.
Mr Lee also praised Stalbridge town councillor Graham Carr-Jones.
He said: "His initiative to create a community hub right next to the library has given us an additional inspiration to succeed."
He thanked North Dorset District Council for its support and welcomed two members, Bill Batty-Smith and Pauline Batstone, for attending.
Mr Lee thanked Stalbridge librarian Carolyn Talbot and her stand-ins. He said: "They demonstrated to us how a library should be run and that made us determined not to lose it.
"We will strive to come up to their standards."
He said library users from Stalbridge and further afield owed a huge debt of gratitude to the volunteers and members of the management group.
Children representing the school council of Stalbridge Primary School attended the handover ceremony.
Teacher and school library manager Dawn Walker said pupils had joined the campaign to save the library and were encouraged to use it.
The facility is being supported by Dorset County Council, which has also trained the team of volunteers to use the system.
Books will be available from the county stock and computers for public use will remain.
The library will be open for more hours than before and will include Wednesday lunchtimes and Thursday evenings.