Dedicated volunteers make Ripon library launch a success

Coun Pauline McHardy presents a 500 cheque to Ripon Library Action Group on behalf of the city council, to Ripon library action group members and volunteers.
Coun Pauline McHardy presents a 500 cheque to Ripon Library Action Group on behalf of the city council, to Ripon library action group members and volunteers.

The dedication of volunteers from across the city and beyond was praised on Saturday, as Ripon library succeeded in launching as a hybrid service.

In the face of funding cuts, over 80 volunteers have come forward to help keep our library open due to funding cuts, with one member of paid staff remaining.

Doing one of the first shifts on Saturday was Sue Simms, who has been using the library for 40 years.

Sue said: "The fact we have managed to keep the library open shows that people want to keep things in Ripon alive, and the more volunteers we have the better.

"I have been going to Ripon library for 40 years and I take my granddaughter here now, she really likes it here. I just want to give something back. So many people use the library and it is such an important part of the community."

Coun Pauline McHardy presented a £500 cheque to the Ripon Library Action Group on behalf of the city council to show their support.

Coun McHardy joined in praising the efforts of the volunteers.

After making the presentation, she said: "I just think this is a big day for Ripon, it is good to recognise all those volunteers giving up their time to keep something going for the benefit of Ripon.

"Ripon would fold up if it wasn't for all these volunteers. They give their all to everything that they do, they are so dedicated. I am pleased to have the opportunity to come to the library to present the cheque on behalf of Ripon City Council. We do a lot to support the work of local organisations."

Chair of Ripon Library Action Group, Roy Slater, said: "I think that we have done all we can to keep the library going. It is sad that it has come to this, but we can't do anything about it. We are going to make it work. We are off now, and this is a good beginning. It is a nice atmosphere here today.

"We are now keen to go out and talk to people about what they want to see in the library. Our volunteers will react to what they want, as they are a part of the community themselves.

"We have an opportunity, as a service run largely by volunteers, to get involved and shape the things we have going on in the library."

Finishing his first shift, volunteer Mike Chambers said: "It's been a good first morning. It's felt slightly daunting, thinking this is it - we are starting. But everyone has been ready to get stuck in. We have done our first shift, we have survived, and it is great that the community has come together. like this."

To volunteer at Ripon library, email: RiponLibraryVolunteers@gmail.com or call 01609 536613 to find out more.