New organisation to operate local libraries is now up and running

The new organisation running Devon's libraries has now gone live.

Libraries Unlimited, a community-owned social enterprise, takes over running the service from Devon County Council, which says it is business as normal for library users.

The aim is to safeguard all 50 Devon libraries and to save £1.5million.

It continues to remain responsible for the service, but now commissions its delivery from Libraries Unlimited.

It is managed by chief executive Ciara Eastell and a board of trustees recruited from library staff, library friends groups and independent members.

Cllr Roger Croad, cabinet member for community services, said it was 'a landmark day' for Devon's libraries.

"We have not closed a single library in Devon, despite significant reductions in government funding. Nor have we replaced our professional staff with volunteers," he said.

"An immense amount of hard work has gone in to getting this far, and I am proud that we have delivered a strong and sustainable model for the future of Devon's library service that has professional staff and communities at its heart.

"We have not closed a single library in Devon, despite significant reductions in government funding. Nor have we replaced our professional staff with volunteers."

Ciara Eastell added: "Devon is proud of its award winning library service, which is highly regarded as one of the best and most innovative in the country at adapting and developing in response to community needs.

"Libraries Unlimited is committed to continuing this excellent track record and providing a modern, vibrant and sustainable library service. Bringing ideas, imagination, information and knowledge to communities and people's lives is our vision and one which our staff, Friends Groups and Board of Trustees are committed to."