VIDEO: Volunteers wanted to help save Sheffield library

A Sheffield community group fighting to save its library has urged nearby residents to step forward and volunteer.

Between 80 and 90 people attended a public meeting at the Totley Rise Methodist Church to hear the latest news in the attempts to save Totley library, which is under threat following a cut in council funding.

Matt Kik, founder of the Save Totley Library campaign, said the meeting was arranged to tell residents what has been happening with the campaign, explain Sheffield Council’s decision and to ask residents to step forward and volunteer to help run it.

He said: “We haven’t been brilliant at communicating with the public so far.

“We wanted to take a show of hands to see if they are happy with our plans, and it was a unanimous vote.

“I go regularly with my daughter, she loves going to the library, and I go to the writing group there.

Matt Kik, founder of the Save Totley Library campaign,

Matt Kik, founder of the Save Totley Library campaign,

“When I heard about plans to close it I thought I’m not going to let that happen.

“We are out on a limb in Totley. There’s nothing here to support us, and when we did a survey of how easy it is to get to the next library a lot of older people said they wouldn’t bother going.”

However, Mr Kik admitted the meeting’s attendance was one of the smallest yet –a meeting last October after the council plans were announced saw about 200 people turn up.

Natasha Watkinson, on behalf of the campaign, said they think they will need 50 volunteers to keep it going.

She said: “We are open 32 hours a week and need two people in the library at any one time.”

Totley’s is one of 10 libraries whose council funding was cut in this year’s budget.

Only 12 of the city’s public libraries remain under council control, with another five being operated in partnerships with volunteers.

Overall, £262,000 is being transferred from the council’s public health cash every year for the next three years to aid the remaining 10 libraries while they move into independent ownership.