Friends group aims to save town’s library

Batley library. (D512C430)
Batley library. (D512C430)

A bid to safeguard the future of Batley’s central library is to be made next week when a meeting will be held with the aim of forming a friends of the library group.

It follows the presentation of a petition containing more than 11,000 signatures urging Kirklees Council to safeguard the library for the thousands of people who use it in many ways during the year.

The meeting – which will be held at Batley Library at 7pm on Monday, August 3 – has been arranged by historian Malcolm Haigh following fears that the library’s future might be questionable if it didn’t have a friends group.

Mr Haigh said: “I’ve got to say that I imagine that councillors will be pretty well assured of the special place the library holds in Batley people’s hearts by the massive number who signed the petition organised by the Batley History Group and the huge numbers of all age groups who use it continually.

“But when it was pointed out to me that every other library in Kirklees has such a Friends Group with members willing to help their libraries on a voluntary basis, I felt that this was yet another way through which Batelians could show how much they love it. “Initially I was worried that establishing Friends Groups might be seen as a means by which the jobs of professional librarians might be threatened but I’m told this is not the case and that the librarians actually enjoy the help given to them by volunteers.

“What we need is for people to come along, listen to what can be done and be willing to give a little of their time to help keep the library service in Batley.

“The more who volunteer the less will be the demand on any one of them.”