LIBRARIES across Ryedale have been relaunched as community-managed enterprises after their council funding was cut.

From last Saturday, libraries including Kirkbymoorside, Helmsley and Norton became almost fully run and funded by the community.

To mark this transition, Kirkbymoorside library had an official opening on Saturday, featuring an exhibition of the history of the town by the Kirkbymoorside History Group.

The event was well attended with children coming dressed as book characters, including Winnie the Witch and Benjamin Bunny.

The craft activity room was busy with youngsters making bunting and volunteers signed up several new library members.

Chris Dowie, chair of the new library steering committee, said: “It was an excellent day with support from all sections of the community.

“We look forward to holding regular events for children and book lovers of all ages.”

The ribbon was cut by author and former journalist Madeleine Bunting while the town band played a fanfare.

Originally from Oswaldkirk, Ms Bunting was an associate editor and columnist at The Guardian.

More recently she is the author of several books including The Plot - the story of one acre in North Yorkshire over thousands of years - and Love of Country: A Hebridean Journey.

Alongside Ms Bunting was Rosie Alison, also of Yorkshire, who was producer of films such as The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas and who also wrote the 2010 novel The Very Thought of You, which was nominated for the Orange Prize.

Both authors spoke about their work to a full house after the opening, and both also agreed to be patrons of the library.

Elsewhere, Pickering library hosted a “hello and goodbye” evening to mark its change to a hybrid library.

Being a hybrid library means Pickering will now have one full-time staff member and one back-up member who will spend 14 hours at Pickering. Other than that there will be volunteers on hand to run the library.

There are no changes to the opening hours and all current community activities will remain.