SCIENCE wizz and former children’s TV presenter Johnny Ball was the star guest at the official opening of the first of 14 volunteer-run libraries.

Farnham Common Library has become the first community partnership to open since Buckinghamshire County Council slashed nearly £700,000 from the budget for the learning services.

BCC wants volunteers to take over the running of 13 other facilities county wide.

Mr Ball carried out Saturday's official ribbon cutting as a large crowd of villagers and children enjoyed a day of entertainment.

The Farnham Common resident said: “I'm sure that every library facing this kind of challenge can be saved by the locals who are using it.

“I'm sure that this way the council will continue to do all it can to support it.”

Michael Mills, the new chairman of the libray's management committee, said: “This is our chance to shape the library to meet the needs of the community and to make a difference for the future.

“We've had hundreds of local residents signed up as friends, volunteers, fundraisers and supporters, and we're very grateful for the support of the council in helping us to get started.”

BCC Leader Cllr Martin Tett presented him with the keys.

He said: “I've been really impressed with the energy and commitment of the committee and volunteers to make this transition to a community-run library - a real Big Society effort.

“Our commitment is to continue partnering with them to make this venture a success, and a great model for other communities.”

Management committee members were voted in at a public meeting in June.

Plans include expanding the book selection, improving opening hours and putting on events and activities to bring the community together.