PEOPLE interested in volunteering to help keep Craven libraries up and running are being invited to attend information meetings.

Following a cost-cutting review of its library service, North Yorkshire County Council announced in the summer that in the future all libraries would need volunteer helpers to survive.

From March, 2017, libraries in Cross Hills, Bentham, Ingleton and Settle will become completely community run, with support from the council, whereas the district's "core" library in Skipton, will see a 40 per cent of current staffing levels replaced by members of the public.

It is hoped that the changes, which will result in job losses, will save the council £1.6 million as part of its overall budget reduction of £167 million.

The first of the information sessions will take place in Bentham, on Monday, and will be followed next month with sessions in the remaining libraries.

They will include information about the process that led up to the county making its decision, the impact on each library, and how people can get involved.

In the summer, the council agreed all of its libraries would be classed as core, hybrid or community managed.

Core libraries, including Skipton, will in future operate on a combination of existing staff and volunteers, whereas all other libraries in Craven will become community run, staffed by volunteers, but with dedicated additional support from the council.

During the three-month consultation, library supporters called for services to be maintained at current levels.

But the council said it had no choice but to make savings in the face of stringent government funding cuts.

The new community run libraries will join those already led by members of the public, in Embsay, Gargrave and Grassington - which were turned over to the community in the last round of library cuts.

Information sessions are due to take place at Bentham Library on Monday from 3pm to 6pm; Cross Hills Library next Friday, October 2 from 3pm to 6pm; Settle Library on Tuesday, October 6, from 3pm to 6pm; Ingleton Library on Monday, October 12, from 3pm to 6pm; and Skipton Library on Monday, October 19, from 3pm to 6pm.