MEMBERS of the Berkeley community have rallied together to save their library from closure.

Faced with losing their library local people, including an experienced former librarian, have got together to form a committee and are creating a business plan to keep the facility open for the town.

"As a community we have got to do something, otherwise we will lose the library and we absolutely have to keep it going," said Mary Waller, a retired librarian and member of the newly formed Berkeley Community Library Committee BCLC.

"There are so many reasons for keeping a library open and no reason at all for closing one. We are losing so much in Berkeley what with the school, hospital and police station going, we can’t let go of something else." Gloucestershire County Council announced this year that Berkeley would be one of several libraries that they would close if the community were not willing to take it on.

The authority called it the ‘Big Community Offer’ and the committee have been offered the current library building at a peppercorn rent and have been given a £2,500 grant to get the project off the ground.

Books will still be available to order from the county’s stock, but in future years book stocks will have to be replenished by the committee.

Mrs Waller, who worked as a librarian all around the county before retiring, said the hard work would be worth it to keep the library open.

"It is so important for the library to stay open. The young people need in the town it in the holidays, unemployed people use the computers and you can’t say people can use Dursley library. There are many old people who simply could not get to Dursley on public transport to rent out books."

The committee has already put together a business case that must be submitted to the county council by June 1 and 20 volunteers have expressed an interest in working in the library.

A process of hand-over will take place in summer. The committee is seeking more volunteers to work in the community library once it is open. A meeting for volunteers will take place on Monday, May 9, at 7pm in the town hall. If you cannot attend but are interested in volunteering email