Boroughbridge named county’s library of the year

This story was published 9 July 2018

Boroughbridge Community Library and Resource Centre has been selected as North Yorkshire’s Library of the Year for improved performance by North Yorkshire County Council’s library service.

Cllr Greg White presents the North Yorkshire Library of the Year award to volunteers and trustees at Boroughbridge Community Library and Resource Centre. From left are, Shirley Cullimore, Julia Helliwell, Ros Helliwell, Barbara Horner, Anne Collins, Cllr White, John Helliwell, Helen Chester, Judith Burton and Shirley Dorman.

Charitable trust Boroughbridge Area Community Library Association (BACLA) has run the library since December 2016 in close partnership with the County Council. The partnership has been a huge success and during the past year business levels have increased significantly. Volunteers are delivering many services to the community and are helping people to access digital and online services, such as bus pass and Blue Badge applications.

The library also provides a home library delivery service to people who are unable to visit the library. It has recently received a grant for community transport to allow regular visits to the library for children from local schools. There are many activities and events taking place, including a jigsaw club, Scrabble club, children’s story time and a code club.

John Helliwell, secretary for Boroughbridge Community Library, said: “This achievement is a tribute not only to the high calibre of the trustees and volunteers, but also to a determination to make the library a first-class community facility, one of which the people of Boroughbridge and the Lower Ure Valley can be justifiably proud. Above all, our success over the past year is down to teamwork and a strong sense of joint enterprise and camaraderie.”

Boroughbridge is not the only library to be recognised by the library service. Five others have been highly commended, again for improved performance against the library service’s key indicators. These are:

County councillor Greg White, executive member for libraries, said: “Twenty-two libraries transferred to community ownership on 1 April 2017, so last year was one of huge transition for the library service. However, business levels countywide have been maintained on previous years, and in some cases improved.

“More than anything, this demonstrates the hard work of the staff and more than 2,000 volunteers across the county who have been determined to make sure a thriving, innovative library service remains active in their communities. I’m immensely proud of all that was achieved last year. Boroughbridge and BACLA are deserved winners, partly because of their increased business levels, but also for the way they are willing to share their knowledge and experience with other community libraries across the county.”