Parishes team up to keep librarian on the books

Oxfordshire County Council will cover some of the costs

Oxfordshire County Council will cover some of the costs

First published in News

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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