Starbeck library officially launches as a volunteer run service

A team effort: Starbeck library volunteers.

A team effort: Starbeck library volunteers.

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Starbeck's community library was officially opened yesterday, in a special event that celebrated the dedication of everyone who has fought to save the service from closure.

The Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Coun Nick Brown, cut the ribbon to mark the full takeover of the library by volunteers - a moment which many attendees said made them feel very proud of Starbeck's community spirit.

Standing among the crowds of volunteers, invited guests and fond users of the library, Coun Janet Law said: "I am proud of everyone in Starbeck for working together to keep the library open. Everyone has worked really hard to make this happen for so long."

Chair of the Management Team, Julia Mosley, said: "Reading is the most important skill for life. I just can't imagine this library closing, it is such a wonderful space."

Attending the opening was Sue Thom with her daughter, who she regularly takes to the library.

She said: "We don't want the library to ever shut, I bring her here all the time. A community library like this is especially important because it's a place where you see your neighbours and your friends, you bump into people you know. It's a special place."

Peter Finch said: "It's a community hub, lots of people use it."

Just before posing for a photograph with all the other volunteers, Peter's wife Claire said: "So many people use it, and so much goes on here."

Lynne Camacho said: "Starbeck library has such a lovely atmosphere, it just brings people together. Talks go on in here, there are meeting rooms, and a lot going on. It is important to keep it going."

Lynne's husband Chris said: "People can think of a library as being just books, but it's about far more than that. It's a hub of the community."

A stall invited Starbeck residents to share ideas for volunteers to implement, and people of all ages added to a display which invited them to name the book that changed their life.