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High hopes for library site's future

By Jordan Harris | Walsall | News | Published:

There are 'high hopes' for the future of a library building controversially closed down earlier this year after its reopening as a book exchange.

Pheasey Library, on Collingwood Drive, opened its doors once again on September 1 thanks to committed volunteers and community leaders.

Despite Walsall Council's Labour and Liberal Democrat administration claiming it wouldn't close libraries prior to coming into power, a set of initial draft proposals released in October proposed 15 of 16 libraries across the borough would close, including Pheasey.

This was altered in late January, when a draft budget compiled after a public consultation revealed that six of the 15 at risk libraries were to remain open, not including Pheasey.

A 660 strong petition to keep the library open was handed to council bosses earlier this year but it was refused and the site closed in July.

Now, after a push from volunteers and councillor Chris Towe, the building hosts a book exchange which at first will open for two days a week, with the hope of increasing provision in the future.

Speaking after the re-opening, councillor Towe said: "I think our first day as a book exchange went brilliantly, it was everything we could have hoped for.

"We had people turn up to show support, we had people offering to be volunteers, we had people borrowing books and we welcomed children from the local nursery in to show them around.

"I have high hopes for the future of the site and if the amount of volunteers increases we can look at opening for more days.

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"I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone has helped on this journey so far."

The Pheasey Library book exchange will open at 10am on Friday and for the first month of the scheme, it will be open from 10am to 3pm on Friday's and Tuesdays.

At present, between 40 and 50 volunteers have offered their services, but anyone who wishes to do the same can visit the site and speak with volunteers.

Jordan Harris

By Jordan Harris
Senior Reporter - @JHarris_Star

Reporter covering Staffordshire/Walsall - also a keen gig goer

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