A LIBRARY which entered a new chapter nearly three years ago is going from strength to strength.

South Craven Community Library was ‘born’ in April, 2017, when volunteers took over the day-to-day running of the Main Street, Cross Hills, premises from the county council.

Last June the site won a coveted North Yorkshire Library of the Month accolade.

And now it has received an award for its contribution to the 2019 children’s summer reading challenge.

Figures show that 11,161 children across North Yorkshire took part in the challenge, an increase of 14 per cent on the previous year.

As part of the venture, youngsters were encouraged to read six library books over the summer holidays, earning rewards along the way.

County council chairman, Jim Clark, visited the library to present the award to trustees.

“He was given a tour of the premises and was impressed with the broad range of activities on offer to the local community,” said Wendy Bond, chairman of the trustees.

“Facilities include a children’s play area with building bricks and drawing boards, a games cupboard, regular family history sessions, children’s craft days and computers for public use.

“We’re delighted with the award and the way things are going at the library in general.”

The county council is currently consulting on a future strategy for the libraries service and is inviting residents to have their say.

Partner organisations, volunteers and other stakeholders have been involved in drawing-up the Your library, your place strategy.

County Councillor Greg White, executive member for libraries, pays tribute to all the communities involved in delivering the services and encourages people to take part in the consultation.

He added: “Since 2012, there has been a shift to partnerships with communities and volunteers in delivering library services and an expansion of the activities and facilities libraries offer.

“This has led to strong performances, innovation and national recognition as many libraries have established themselves even more deeply as hubs within their communities.

“We have a family of libraries in North Yorkshire that nurture opportunities through access to ideas, imagination and connections.

“This family includes volunteers, charities, partner organisations and parish and town councils, all of whom are involved in delivering services.

“We recognise the huge contribution in time, energy, commitment and fundraising efforts of community library groups, which – together with the staffing, infrastructure and financial support from the county council – is critical in keeping all our libraries open.

“The strategy shows how working together, the service as a whole can develop and remain relevant to the communities served by our libraries.

“It focuses on four core objectives – literacy and learning, health and wellbeing, digital and communities. These are set against key outcomes of raising aspirations, stimulating enjoyment of culture and helping people live independent lives. The strategy recognises the changes of the past decade and demonstrates the council’s commitment to continue investing in libraries as a community resource able to support its ambitions for North Yorkshire.

“Its aim is to provide an ambition for libraries rather than to revisit the delivery model and it acknowledges that without the support of more than 2,000 volunteers and others, the service as it exists today would not be possible.”

To give your views, visit northyorks.gov.uk/yourlibraryyourplace. The consultation runs until February 24. For more details about South Craven Community Library, visit sccls.org.uk.