Community group comes up with novel way to keep library service running

A library is set for its next instalment as it moves into a new base now a community group has taken charge.

By Fiona Thompson
Wednesday, 23 January, 2019, 10:25
Councillor Ken Stephenson the community association's chairman June Gardiner and librarian Pauline Martin.

Primrose Library will close this Friday and re-open at noon on Monday, February 4, at its new home in Perth Green Community Centre under the management of Perth Green Community Association.

The move follows the successful transfer of East Boldon Library which became Boldon and Cleadon Community Library when it was taken over by volunteers in November.

Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Ken Stephenson, said: “This is an absolute success story for South Tyneside.

"By working with the community association, we have been able to safeguard this valuable community resource for the future.

“It is a privilege to be the mayor of a borough where community spiritedness is so strong and people work together to achieve the right outcomes for their local neighbourhoods.”

As a result of the library moving to Perth Green, local people will benefit from much longer opening times.

From its relaunch, the library will be open for 50 hours a week – an increase of 35 hours on the current opening times.

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Ian Gibson, facilities manager at Perth Green Community Centre, said: “This is a fantastic move for local people.

"Residents can access not only books, but also computers, making the community centre even more of a valuable community resource.

“With the library now sharing the reception area and coffee bar, the centre looks set to be busier than ever.”

While the library is closed, any items on loans can either be returned to another library or returned to Perth Green Community Centre when the library re-opens.

Fines will not be incurred if items are returned late.

Existing members of the library will continue to benefit from access to other libraries in the Borough, with residents able to reserve books from any library.

Councillor Alan Kerr, deputy leader with responsibility for leisure and culture, said: “We know how valued our community libraries are which is why we are so keen to maintain these much-loved community assets.

“Despite facing some of the harshest funding cuts across the country, I am delighted that we have been able to find a way forward to making our library services sustainable for the future.”