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.”
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