A COMMUNITY library in Ryedale has been named the best in North Yorkshire.

Staff and customers at Norton HIVE Library and Community Hub are celebrating after taking the title of North Yorkshire’s Library of the Year 2020.

Norton HIVE was established as a community library in 2017, in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council.

The library organised activities, including pilates, spinning and weaving classes, which has resulted in an 11 per cent increase in library use and 18 per cent increase in visitor numbers.

“This award is due to the hard work and dedication of every single trustee and volunteer at Norton HIVE,” said Carol Duncan, volunteer team leader.

“They are the connection between the library and our users whether it be home library service, in house, classes, schools, or organising fundraising events.

“Our aim is to provide the community with something for everyone whatever their requirements may be.”

Before coronavirus lockdown, volunteers at Norton HIVE were putting in a monthly average of about 500 hours and recording a monthly customer footfall of more than 2,200.

Since becoming a community library, there has been extensive building work, including converting the previous library garage into two small offices with a disabled toilet and a sensory garden.

Norton HIVE is currently providing a collection service for customers and hopes to reopen with a wider range of services.

“The library is popular with people of all ages, and it’s such a valuable resource for our community, not just Norton but further afield too,” said Cllr Keane Duncan, leader of Ryedale District Council.

“I am sure Norton HIVE will continue to grow and develop.”