Parishes team up to keep librarian on the books

From Oxford Mail: THREE parish councils have teamed up to help keep on a professional staff member at Wychwood Library.

Councillors in Milton-under-Wychwood, Shipton-under-Wychwood and Ascott-under-Wychwood have agreed to pay more than £7,000 between them.

This will cover a third of library manager Ruth Gillingham’s wages, allowing the Milton-under-Wychwood library to operate 21 hours a week with a professional librarian.

Remaining costs will be covered by Oxfordshire County Council’s library service but one part-time librarian will be made redundant.It comes as the county council will halve staff funding from 21 of its 43 libraries from April next year.

Milton-under-Wychwood Parish Council will pay £4,440 towards Ms Gillingham’s wages, Shipton-under-Wychwood will pay £2,150 and Ascott-under-Wychwood will pay £573, reflecting how much residents from each village used the facility.

Volunteers working nine hours per week will help Ms Gillingham, library manager for seven years.

Shipton-under-Wychwood Parish Council vice-chairman Brian Young said the funding would prevent her from being made redundant.

He said: “We felt quite strongly that the library is a central part of these villages.

“It’s not just about the books as there’s also reading and support groups, as well as computer and literacy lessons.

“It’s much more than just a library and we didn’t wish to lose part of the service.”

via Parishes team up to keep librarian on the books From Oxford Mail.