COUNCIL bosses have called on communities to help keep their local libraries open in the face of continuing budget cuts.
Blackburn with Darwen Council is looking for volunteers to help run community libraries in Livesey, Mill Hill and Roman Road.
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The move comes as the leisure department looks to save a further £2million over the next three years, but libraries chief Coun Damian Talbot said closing the libraries would be an ‘absolute last resort’.
Coun Talbot said: “We have managed to keep them open throughout the past four years despite huge sums of money coming out of the budget.
“The savings we have to find in the next three years are significant so we just really want to work with the community.
“My policy has always been we do not close buildings but it is becoming increasingly difficult.
“We are in a stark situation and we want to carry on providing a service. Libraries play a key role in our community.”
Coun Talbot said he hoped bringing in volunteers would actually help add to the services offered at community libraries in Blackburn.
He said: “We hope the community comes forward and helps us.
“If we get enough volunteers this could actually enable us to expand opening hours, where in recent years we have had to cut them back.”
Public consultation meetings will held to see if there is any interest from individuals or community groups in becoming volunteers.
Volunteers would not have to take responsibility for the building but would act more like stewards, helping people with their enquiries when they visit the library.
The meetings are at Roman Road Library on Tuesday, January 6, Livesey Library on Wednesday, January 7, and Mill Hill Library on Thursday, January 8, all from 5.30pm to 7pm.
Anyone unable to attend meetings but wishing to express their views can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the council on 01254 661221.