Gargrave and Malhamdale Community Library, which is managed by volunteers, held an official reopening on recently after it was closed for refurbishment.

The improvements included creating a children’s corner as well as repainting and carpeting the library

For the refurbishment, the community library committee used a £4,000 grant provided by North Yorkshire County Council and the work was co-ordinated by Skipton Building Society. The Society’s premises manager, Ian Atack, created the design and arranged for the work to be done.

The library was one of the first in North Yorkshire to be managed by local volunteers, becoming a community library in May 2012 as part of a restructure of the library service by the County Council. Since then it has been self-funding.

The reopening took the form of a coffee morning. The library was officially reopened by William Slinger and Gracie-May Robinson, who are regular library users and who each completed this year's summer reading challenge.

Alan Simpson, chairman of the library committee, said: “The support for the library from across the community has been tremendous right from the start. Thanks go to the parish council, the village hall committee, the Women’s Institute, local councillors, the County Council’s library service for funding and support, and to Ian Atack for his expertise.

“But our main thanks must go to the community, those who made donations five years ago, even some who do not use the library, and gave the committee the incentive to go forward. Thanks also to the members of the 100 Club, including the winners who give their prizes back as donations.” 

Ian Atack, of Skipton Building Society, thanked the contractors that completed the work, including Colin Wike, Optimum Mechanical and Electrical, Trade Carpets, Lodestone Construction and RN Wooler.

 County Council chairman Cllr Helen Swiers, who attended the event, said: “We know how valued libraries are by their communities and we appreciate the commitment in time and effort by volunteers that has ensured that libraries such as Gargrave continue to survive and thrive. Gargrave’s success is clearly the result of long-term commitment and collaboration across the community.”

County Councillor Gillian Quinn, the Local Member, added: “This is really fantastic. Libraries are so necessary for villages like Gargrave and its surrounding area. They are a focal point both for adults and children. I think it is important for children to read, and although there are numerous ways for them to do that these days there is nothing like the feel of a book, of sitting down with it and turning the pages. I think parents enjoy reading to their children as well.”