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First county community managed library set to open its doors in April

Published: 4 March 2020

Derbyshire’s first community managed library is set to open its doors in April.

Woodville Library is to be the first of our libraries to transfer over to community management as part of our innovative 'Libraries for Derbyshire' programme.

The library, on Hartshorne Road, will close its doors on Friday 27 March as a council-run library, and the community group behind the new venture aims to re-open it on Friday 17 April.

After the library closes its doors, the group set to take over will be on site receiving training and support as they start to put in place the changes they have been planning for months.

One of the major changes to be introduced by the new management is set to be the extension of library opening hours, which will increase by 4 hours, including opening on a Saturday.

Loan periods will be extended for people who borrow items before the library closes on 27 March and they will not be expected to return them until after the library re-opens. However, people can return books to any Derbyshire library and can use any county library as long as they have their library card.

The group will be announced as soon as the final legalities have been signed off, which will be before the official handover.

The library is set to re-open to the public on 17 April and Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis will officially hand over the keys to the group.

An official grand opening event to be held by the community group is scheduled for the early May Bank Holiday on Friday 8 May, with details to be announced in the next few weeks.

Councillor Lewis, who is also the Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism, said:

“This is a very exciting time for the council and for the group involved, and the library closing for training and preparation for the community takeover is a huge step forward."

“The new group will receive all the training and support they need, and they will be able to put their mark on the library before it re-opens its doors.

“They have some very exciting plans for the future of Woodville Library and I’m confident it will go from strength to strength under its new community management. Already the group has confirmed it will extend the opening hours which is extremely positive and sure to be welcomed by the community.

“This will be the first group out of 8 community groups currently working to take over their local library and it’s a major milestone in the Libraries for Derbyshire programme.”

Woodville Library is one of 20 that are earmarked for community management out of 45 county council-run libraries.

Seven other groups are currently working on their business cases with a view to taking over their libraries in the near future.

To find out more about the Libraries for Derbyshire programme and get more information about running a community library, people should go to the Libraries for Derbyshire section of our website.