BENTHAM Library and Customer Services Centre is going from strength to strength - and has just been named North Yorkshire runner-up Library of the Year for 2014.

It was honoured for its excellent performance in meeting and exceeding targets, achieving five of the six goals.

The service has benefited from a partnership with Friends of Bentham Library (FoBL) which has undoubtedly contributed to the high performance as volunteers open the library to provide longer opening hours.

Visits to the library were 15 per cent above target with more than 24,000 people taking advantage of the services, a record-breaking107 children took part in the summer reading challenge, Creepy House, and 42 hours was given to ICT learning sessions.

Branch staff and FoBL volunteers have also organised a number of activities and events throughout the year including events with author Jo Baker, the launch of the Sunbeams Collection, Doctor Who day with writer Eddie Robson, and the Premier League Reading Stars club. The library has also encouraged use of the library by external organisations like Bentham CP School.

New events for 2014 include a new monthly Rhyme Time and a French café to celebrate the Grand Depart.

For more information, contact the library on 0845 0349532 or for further information on volunteering opportunities access, visit

Pictured are, back, Margaret Cowling, Coun Lin Barrington, Coun David Ireton, Mike Barron; centre, senior service development assistant Karen Allsopp, front, Kathleen Kelly, Coun Linda Brockbank, management co-ordinator Judith Walsh, relief service development assistant Carole Barlow and service development officer John Frankland. Picture by Alice Ellwood