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What do I need to consider if I am interested in running a library service?
There are a number of things that individuals or communities need to consider if they are interested in developing an alternative service where a branch library may close or a mobile library may be withdrawn.
These include operational, financial, legal and property issues. There is lots of help available from the library service and through local support and development organisations so you don't need to be an expert in these things to begin with. The most important things a community will need are enthusiasm and commitment.
If you are interested in developing an alternative library service, you should register your initial expression of interest with us.
For an explanation of some of the terms used on this page, see the library consultation glossary page. You can also download a factsheet for each library and mobile library for an in-depth look at the costs involved; usage information; and other useful facts and figures.
The operational issues to consider are:
If you are using volunteers, you will need to think about how to recruit them and ensure they are suitable, including checking with the Criminal Records Bureau. You will also need to know what tasks you will want them to do and what training they will need.
The library service will not be able to provide any funding, so your group will need to think about how it will raise any money required. This could be through applying for grants or generating income in some other way. You will need to think about developing a business plan and about how you can keep the service going in the long term.
Some potential costs to consider include:
Is the group already a legal entity? If not, it will have to consider becoming a constituted body. The North Yorkshire Forum for Voluntary Organisations can help your group become a constituted body and can be contacted on 01347 825710, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The North Yorkshire Forum for Voluntary Organisations will explain how a group of volunteers within the community can come together and become a constituted body. In doing this the group would be taking on legal responsibility and the library service will need to negotiate a service agreement with the group.
If the group are considering premises other than an existing library, any alternative premises will need to:
The library service will provide some or all of the following:
If you need help with getting your group started the North Yorkshire Forum for Voluntary Organisations can provide support and guidance to local community and voluntary groups.
Local support and development organisations are there to help voluntary and community groups get up and running and to provide ongoing support and advice to existing groups. These organisations are usually known as councils for voluntary service, voluntary action or community care associations. You may already know your local one. They are all registered charities and their information and advice is free.
These organisations can provide:
See the Find local supportpage of the North Yorkshire Forum for Voluntary Organisations website for details of where to find the local support and development organisations in North Yorkshire. North Yorkshire Forum for Voluntary Organisations will be happy to discuss things with you. You can contact them on 01347 825710 or e-mail email@example.com.
If you think you may be interested in developing a local solution, please contact us using the details below to register your initial expression of interest.
Library consultation - information resources