Stoneleigh Community Library celebrated its first birthday this month a year after being taken over by volunteers.

Since then, the library, on The Broadway in Epsom, has gone from strength to strength, running ‘Rhyme Time’ on Saturday mornings for young children, as well as book clubs, French lessons and integration and English lessons for immigrants.

It celebrated its birthday on February 16, providing free refreshments and cake made by Nescot students and running a display of the library past and present.

Visitors were also invited to air their views on the library and what they would like to see in the future.

Mike Teasdale, Residents’ Association councillor for Stoneleigh and a library trustee, said: "The library is flourishing and the cosy and attractive look of the library has brought in many new friends. 

"Surrey Library service is still maintaining a staff presence at the library, a number of whom came into the library with family on the 16th February to use the library."

The library was one of seven selected by Surrey County Council to become volunteer run in October 2011, in a money-saving move, and the Friends of Stoneleigh Library was formed in order to take over.

There were initial difficulties owing to the type of lease on the building, meaning professionals have to run the library alongside the volunteers.

Surrey County Council currently provides one member of staff with up to three volunteers from the Friends working alongside them every day.

Mr Teasdale said: "The volunteers are more than happy with the current arrangement and we have more people offering to volunteer all the time.

"The community has really stepped up to save the library and we meet regularly with the other groups working in the area too."