Keeping arts and culture at the heart of our communities
Saving and strengthening the local library system
In 2011-12, the Doncaster Council library service went through significant changes in response to a £1.1m budget reduction. Two libraries closed, in the council innovated to save 12 libraries by moving them to community management. Volunteers provide the service on a day to day basis, but with strong support from the council. The success of the model has not seen a single library close for lack of community support and led to a 2012 LGA’ Making a Difference’ Award for Culture and Sport. In light of this, the network of 12 community managed libraries has been increased to 20 with an estimated 600 people now registered as volunteers. This has greatly benefitted our local communities; our volunteers are actively learning new skills and with addition of several libraries becoming multi-agency drop-in centres, community resilience across the borough has strengthened rather than declined in response to austerity.