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Volunteers Take Over First Dorset Library

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2:30pm 7th January 2013

Dorset's first library to be run by volunteers is opening in Puddletown today (Monday 7th January).

The village library was one of 9 earmarked for closure after Dorset County Council announced in 2011 they could no longer afford to keep them running.

Leaders claimed they'd make £725,000 of savings by cutting funding.

7 - including Puddletown - have been saved by groups of volunteers who've stepped up to take over the reins from the local authority.

Each library will be supported with a funding package of £5,500 from the County Council to help pay for books and IT services.

28 volunteers will staff the Puddletown library 4 days a week. Chairman of Puddletown Friends Mike Chaney told Wessex FM the situation isn't ideal, but the volunteers are trained and ready to go; ""We've been volunteering now for 4 years. We've at least got a result. It's not the best result, the best result would've been people whose business it is to be librarians are so. But they can;t, so the next best thing s to ahve people volunteering and  that's what we have now."

How you can squeeze into 3 or 4 days training a life times experience, and it will show when people come in, we won't know as much as professional librarians know. But we're all interested in books and we're all readers."

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