Volunteers launch their new community library in South Shields

Author Alan Parkinson and Angela Lishman official open Boldon Lane Library.
Author Alan Parkinson and Angela Lishman official open Boldon Lane Library.

A community group hopes to find novel ways of running a once closure-threatened South Tyneside library – with a little help from its users.

Action Station is calling on people to suggest events and activities they would like to see at Boldon Lane Library, South Shields.

The call to action follows its official opening of the branch, whose management and running it took on in February.

The centre was put at risk of closure due to council cuts, but it has been saved by a community initiative.

Chairwoman Dr Angela Lishman was joined by local author Alan Parkinson and library users in cutting the ceremonial ribbon yesterday.

She said: “We are delighted to have been able to keep a local library in operation and would like to thank our team of volunteers who run the children’s and adult library service.

“We would also like to thank South Tyneside Council and libraries staff for their support during the transfer period.”

Based adjacent to the library, Action Station works directly and in partnership with organisations to provide training, education and employment support.

It took over the running of the library on Monday, February 18, following a month-long administrative closure.

The centre has public access to computers and the internet, with printing services also available.

Action Station is now encouraging people to register for library membership and access its books.

Chief executive Hazel McCallion said: “We would like to hear from the local community how they would like to see the library space used and welcome new ideas and suggestions.”

Partners include Key Project, which supports homeless people aged 16 to 25 and has established a food bank inside the premises.

Action Station is also working with autism support group AutismAble, with activities being held today and tomorrow to raise awareness of the condition.

The library service has received a stock of donated books which are available for sale.

Anyone wishing to become a volunteer should pop in or call 0191 455 8122.