The future of Almondbury Library

The latest update on the future of Almondbury Library, from Jill Mitchell, of Almondbury Library Friends Association (ALFA).

Almondbury Library Friends Association or ALFA was formed in February 2015 in response to the news that Kirklees Libraries budget was being slashed from £6 million to £3.9 million from April 2017. This meant that 80 full time library posts would be lost and that if branch libraries wanted to function after this date, they would have to recruit volunteers to help run the library service. Like all other Kirklees branch libraries, Almondbury will only have one paid post of 15 hours a week.

With the support of our local councillors, Phil Scott, Judith Hughes and Linda Wilkinson and our MP Barry Sheerman, a committee was formed to progress the transition of the continuation of the library service. Public meeting are regularly held and we are now seeking charitable status. Chair of this committee is Dr Michael Mitchell, Secretary Hayley Roebuck and Treasurer Adrian Lee, Volunteer Coordinator Helen Megoran and Events Coordinator, Jill Mitchell.

We are very fortunate to also have on this committee the best-selling author Joanne Harris who lives in Almondbury and has given her full support to the campaign not just to save the library service but to continue to keep it in its existing building in Stocks Walk, Almondbury – a Carnegie building where it has been since its inception. We are also lucky to have full support from senior librarians, Kathryn Harrison and Vanessa Ibbotson.

Currently volunteers are being recruited and trained and there has been a very good response to the volunteer appeal. There is a wide variety of jobs on offer both within running the library service itself, helping to maintain the building and the garden outside and also to help in the Events Programme. If you would like to volunteer come into the library for a form or get in touch with us via our web or Facebook page, details below. You will be very welcome!

The first event is on Saturday 16th January at 10.30 in the library when we are having our Library Launch with coffee and stalls. Then on Wednesday 10th February we are hosting a Chocolate Evening at the library from 7.30 with Joanne Harris and the Minister of Chocolate. Tickets are £10 at the library and include a glass of wine. Future events will be publicised on our blog at which is now live.

If you would like to donate to our Save Almondbury Library fund you can do this through the website as well. We also have a Facebook page, Almondbury Library Friends Association where events will also be publicised. Please join our Facebook group!

Image shows Joanne Harris speaking at Almondbury Library as part of the festival's 2015 Library's Day events.