Volunteers helping keep libraries open

Storytime at Shevington Library
Storytime at Shevington Library
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New figures have revealed how the hard work of volunteers is helping to keep the borough’s libraries open.

According to figures obtained by the BBC, five libraries, three static and two mobile, have been closed in the borough since 2010 and responsibility for one has been transferred to a community group because of budget cuts, leaving 14 libraries in local authority control.

But the council has disputed these figures and said only Beech Hill Library and mobile services have been closed, with the other two having been relocated.

The figures included information on how many members of staff have lost their jobs since 2010 but Wigan did not provide a responses to how many were employed in 2010, only that the figure currently is 108.

The council also failed to provide figures on how many volunteers were helping out in the borough’s libraries in 2010 and now.

A council spokesman said: “As part of The Deal, we have been working in partnership with volunteers to enhance the offer across our libraries. This includes Aspull and Hope Libraries, which are community managed and Shevington Library, where volunteers enhance the standard opening hours.

“Volunteers at other libraries deliver a range of events and assist library staff by strengthening our library offer. In 2015/16, our library volunteers contributed more than 12,500 hours to the library services, helping us to achieve a customer satisfaction rating of 98.25 per cent.”