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Helping communities › Rethinking libraries

Rethinking libraries

Community libraries have been springing up in all sorts of unusual places in Devon. Run by volunteers and linked to the nearest public library, the volunteers manage the loan of books to the community, change the books regularly and collect reserved items for their customers from the nearest library.

The libraries in Ipplepen, Dittisham, Widecombe, Broadhempston and Sparkwell are found in shops, cafes, church halls and even a pub! Set up to replace an infrequent mobile library visit once a fortnight, and in three towns, in response to the Post Office withdrawing its service from these communities, they have proved very popular and successful at keeping the community spirit alive.

Libraries in Colyton and Chudleigh have ‘extra sessions’ run by volunteers enabling the library to be open for longer hours. In Chudleigh when the lease expired on the building the Chudleigh Local History Society used, they moved the centre to the library and volunteers from the society now run the ‘extra hours’ sessions.

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