Author gives big thumbs up to community library
TOWN crier Tony Evans heralded the launch of the Minchinhampton's new community library by one of its biggest fans.
He rang his bell to announce the official opening of the free book loan service moments before romance novelist Katie Fforde cut the ribbon.
She declared it was her favourite library as a child and it still is now.
The author said: "I am so thrilled and glad to be asked to do this for you. I know it is going to be a huge success."
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The volunteer-run library is the eighth to open in Gloucestershire, said Minchinhampton Community Library Trust chairman Chris Stone.
It is the last one to be saved by its supporters after the county council's austerity spending cuts axed local libraries.
Mr Stone said the county was still supporting the library with its books system.
In future, the maintenance of the building in School Road and its £10,00 to £12,000-a-year running costs will be met by the trust, supported by a small army of volunteers.
Mr Stone said: "We are administering everything at a local level. The support of the volunteers is crucial to what is going on today and in the future.
"It is an incredibly important facility and we must try and maintain it if we can."
The Minchinhampton Community Library Trust is registered as an independent charity to try to help it attract future funds.
Minchinhampton parish, Stroud district and Gloucestershire Rural Community councils are all backing it.
Unpaid library helper Caroline Matcham was there with her son Henry, two. She said the library is central to community life.
She said: "We came to baby bounce where they read nursery rhymes. It was how I met people. I am hoping we can make it a success."
Services including book loan with coffee sessions for the housebound are on the new community library agenda. For details on how to volunteering or helping the trust, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.