This is Ilkley

Burley Library to Provide Warm Welcome on Christmas Day

Burley Library will open for two hours on Christmas Day to offer the full festive experience for villagers with little or no family, and who would like to socialise. Doors will open from 2 till 4pm, and visitors will enjoy live music, as well as complimentary mince pies, Christmas cake and tea and coffee.

Burley-in-Wharfedale Library Christmas Opening

Sparked by a Facebook post by local Rachael Robinson, who led the recent project to revamp the village’s playground, a host of volunteers have rallied round to set up a Christmas treat. Residents have pledged to put up posters, supply decorations and spread the word to the area’s most vulnerable residents.

Burley Library Facebook Post

Villagers will be able to meet up at the Grange Road venue to chat, indulge in some festive treats, enjoy entertainment from Otley singer Carys Crow and even borrow books for the two-hour stint on 25th. There will also be board games available, and organisers are looking into laying on transport for those with limited mobility.

Although kind-hearted locals have already pledged most of the items needed for the day to go with a bang, volunteers say they can’t get enough donations of food. If anything perishable is left over after Christmas Day, it will be donated to Leeds homeless charity St George’s Crypt.

Who Runs Burley Library?

Burley Library is now run by Burley-in-Wharfedale Parish Council, who this year took over a number of local facilities from Bradford Council. The existence of the library had been under threat due to CBMDC budget cuts, but the hard work of a team of volunteers has seen it become a real community hub.

Burley Library on Grange Road

There is a new weekly Scrabble club, regular Tuesday singing, story and craft sessions for little ones, and visitors are now allowed to use the toilets too! Handy, especially for those in charge of the aforementioned toddlers. Visit the Love Burley Library Facebook page for the latest event information.

The Parish Council had put forward a plan to move the library into the Queens Hall due to the current building’s condition, but an impassioned protest from the Save Our Library Site group, supported by Yorkshire writer Alan Bennett, has seen the decision delayed by six months to explore alternative solutions.

Other Libraries Near Ilkley

Menston Library had been a victim of the council cuts, closing its doors earlier this year, but it recently reopened as a community concern. Since September, a professional manager has run the facility, aided by a team of volunteers. As was the case when they were both under Bradford’s control, users can borrow books from Menston and drop them off at Burley, and vice versa.

There are also concerns over Ilkley Library, after Bradford Council announced its intention to cut £30 million from its budget up to 2020. Yes, it would be possible for a local community takeover as in Burley and Menston, but this should not be the norm. Libraries are one of the most important facilities we have. Inspiring children (and adults) to read empowers them, gives them access to knowledge and feeds their creativity.

Why Local Libraries Are Important

We’re lucky that we live in an affluent area, but even in LS29 not everyone can afford books, music, internet access and many of the other services provided by our libraries. And it’s not just the material concerns; libraries also offer important social opportunities through classes, workshops, talks and more. It’s amazing that people are willing to give up their time for no reward, but we should be rewarding the people who provide these fantastic services.

The best thing to come from recent events is that it shows what a great community spirit there is around here. Nothing shows that more than Burley Library opening on Christmas Day to spread the festive cheer.

About Jim Coulson 36 Articles
I'm Jim, I live in Burley-in-Wharfedale with my wife, two kids and a dog. This leaves me at least ten minutes a week to write incisive web content.

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