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Lord Fellowes Wants More Support For Dorset Volunteer Run Libraries

julien fellowes and james

8:06am 28th March 2014

Downton Abbey Creator Julian Fellowes has called for more support at Dorset's volunteer run libraries.

He's patron of Ad Lib, a group formed by the friends of Dorset's Libraries, who want to see more community hubs in the county.

There are 8 volunteer run libraries in Dorset.

Lord Fellowes wants more people to get involved and help keep them alive in case more cuts are needed in the future.

'Enthusiastic amateurs are never an adequate replacement for library staff who have dedicated their lives to their craft', says Ad Lib chairman, Graham Lee of Lytchett Matravers. 'There are other reasons beyond the inevitable gaps in volunteers' knowledge of library lore and practice.

The level and range of services Dorset's community libraries can offer has been reduced. They no longer stock the recorded material that the county's funded branches offer and no DVDs, CDs or 'talking books'.

Then there is the fact that most retired volunteers (many of ours are in their 70s) are less able to help people who seek to use the CMLs' computers. Nor are they as adept at getting the best out of the county's computerised library management system?  Inevitable if people with failing memories use it only fortnightly or even less frequently.'

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