A NEW community group has been launched to help ensure a bright future of Rowley’s three libraries.

The Friends of Rowley Libraries has set up a Facebook page and is gaining members quickly and hopes to increase the popularity of local libraries whilst staving off cuts.

The group is also working with Sandwell Council cabinet member Councillor Simon Hackett in a bid for the libraries to deliver services which closed neighbourhood offices provided. Treasurer of the group and Tividale Councillor Jayne Wilkinson said: “We want to get more people enjoying and using these great libraries and making them a real hub for the community which offer more than just library provision.

She added: “Libraries are going through a transition period as modern technology has replaced to an extent the usage of libraries as just a place to get and read books.

Cradley Heath, Blackheath and Oakham Libraries all had separate friends groups but they have now merged into the single to have a bigger voice.

Elan Homes have donated £250 to the group and they have already organised the repainting of Oakham Library through the community payback scheme and we are hoping to raise funds so the inside of Cradley Heath Library will be painted.

The venue of each meeting will rotate around each library and all the minutes will be published on the group’s Facebook page.

Cllr Wilkinson added: “The group decided to create the Facebook page to attract more friends and enable them to take part if they could not attend meetings and also encourage all generations to take part.”

She added: “Another aim is to compliment the services being delivered we wish to fund raise to enhance our much loved libraries in Rowley and build a sense of community ownership.” Fore more information about the group find Rowley Friends of the Libary on Facebook.