Residents in Netherfield have refused to let council cuts stop them from enjoying a library service.
The village had, for many years, enjoyed the facilities of the Mobile Library Service, provided by East Sussex County Council. It was positioned outside the Village Stores once every three weeks on a Thursday afternoon.
However, budget constraints determined that this free service had to be stopped in May 2018.
This left certain sections of the community with difficulties in accessing a comparable alternative.
The new Netherfield Village Hall Committee, as part of their determination to create a vibrant Community Hub, accepted the challenge of setting up a library from scratch. The logistics of this course of action, with no access to funding, created a multitude of obstacles which needed to be overcome.
Bookcases, operational staff, advertising and administrative issues all needed to be addressed before the project could be operational – let alone accessing the main purpose of the service, which is books.
Donations of bookcases, hardbacks and paperbacks have allowed the idea to take root from day one, and the doors to the library have been open on a Wednesday afternoon to all, between 2pm and 4pm, since June 2018.
While the equipment may have been a mismatch and some of the books were not the latest blockbuster, the variety and scope has developed over the intervening period.
The library now has regular customers and everyone who visits is offered a cup of tea or coffee, a seat and a chat while they browse.
Due to the refurbishment of Crowborough Library in December and with the help and assistance of East Sussex County Council, the committee was able to access the equipment that was being upgraded.
The Village Hall Committee says the Internet and courses for all are also now on its radar for the future.