STOKESLEY Library will close this year unless more volunteers step forward to help run it.

It is one of 21 North Yorkshire libraries due to be handed over to the community in spring after the county council announced it could no longer afford to run them due to budget cuts.

But the community charitable group in the process of being registered to take over the running of Stokesley Library says it is in desperate need of more volunteers to avoid the resource being closed. North Yorkshire County Council ends its management of the centre in March/April.

A wide range of skills are needed from assisting the librarian, to helping customers with enquiries, stacking shelves, cleaning or online work. A large banner is due to be put up on the library and town hall appealing for people to volunteer their services.

Stokesley parish and county councillor Bryn Griffith said they are looking for people of all ages to help volunteer, including young people who might be looking for a voluntary role with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, or who would benefit from a reference to boost job opportunities.

The charitable organisation is aiming to open the library 19 hours a week, including Saturday mornings and appropriate training will be provided.

Cllr Griffith said: “There’s a big push for volunteers because we need to be ready by April. There’s a lot of training that needs to be done, depending on what skills people have. Finding these volunteers is a serious concern for us, because if we don’t have them, we can’t run the library.”

He said they are looking for people with all kinds of different skills, who could work anything from a couple of hours a week to several days a week, as long as they could commit to a rota.

A drop-in session is being held in the library between 2pm and 3pm on Wednesday, January 18 for those who may be interested in volunteering. Those who can’t make this session should get in touch directly with the library or email

The group are also looking for a treasurer to join the team, to ensure that the financial aspects of the charity are properly managed.

Stokesley Parish Council is currently consulting with local residents on a proposal for a small rise in the parish council precept of 20p a week for a Band D property to pay for professional librarian to run the library.