Staff and customers at Norton HIVE library and community hub are celebrating after it won North Yorkshire’s Library of the Year award.
Norton HIVE has been run as a community library since April 2017 in partnership with the County Council’s library service.
“This award is due to the hard work and dedication of every single trustee and volunteer at Norton HIVE,” said Carol Duncan, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Volunteer Team Leader.
“They are the connection between the library and our users whether it be home library service, in house, classes, schools, or organising fundraising events. Our aim is to provide the community with something for everyone whatever their requirements may be.”
Since becoming a community library, there has been extensive building work which included converting the previous library garage to establish two small offices available to rent; providing a disabled toilet and a sensory garden.
The HIVE has become a community hub providing activities and events including Pilates, spinning and weaving classes, all of which have promoted the library and resulted in an 11% increase in library use and 18% increase in visitor numbers.
Prior to the coronavirus lockdown, Norton HIVE volunteers were putting in a monthly average of around 500 hours, and recording a monthly customer footfall of around 2,200.
It is currently providing a collection service for customers and hopes to open with a wider range of services this month.
Councillor Keane Duncan, member for Norton, said: "Well done to everyone at Norton HIVE. The library is popular with people of all ages, and it's such a valuable resource for our community, not just Norton but further afield too. I am sure Norton HIVE will continue to grow and develop into the future."
County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, added: “This is a fantastic result for the volunteers at Norton HIVE as well as County Council staff because it demonstrates how working together can really deliver an excellent service to local people.
“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, alongside other events and activities.”
Norton HIVE is not the only library to be recognised by the library service. Five others have been highly commended for improved performance. These are:
- Bilton and Woodfield Community Library;
- Boroughbridge Community Library and Resource Centre;
- Filey Community Library;
- Sherburn and Villages Community Library; and
- South Craven Community Library.