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Libraries Consultation

Posted: Tue, 31 Oct 2017 12:27 by Sally Willis

Libraries Consultation

Northamptonshire County Council needs to find £115m savings over the next four years predominantly to meet social care costs in the county. The Library and Information Service must share in this financial challenge and seek to reduce costs to the tax payer. The low cost per visit compared to other library services demonstrates that this cannot be achieved by further efficiencies alone, and requires a more fundamental reshaping of the service to ensure it is fit for the future.

The review of the library service will comprehensively examine the current Northamptonshire Library and Information Service as it operates over its current 36 static and one mobile site against four measures of accessibility, quality, availability and sustainability in line with the review approach recommended by the National Libraries Taskforce. It will examine key statistics and trends within the service before setting out options about how a future library service may be shaped. It will test these proposals against the common design principles of library services and consider the impact of the proposals on the residents of Northamptonshire. This consultation and its outcomes will play a significant part in informing the new library strategy 2018-2022.

What might change?

We are consulting upon three options for the future of the Library and Information Service. Each section of the questionnaire gives more detail on what the options mean.

Option 1

  • Develop community-managed library model to be offered to all other current library communities
  • Retain countywide digital, information and business offer
  • Retain 15 libraries and further develop as community hubs – 8 large libraries, 7 medium libraries
  • Investigate potential future library service provision to additional location in Corby
  • Extend Library to You to replace Mobile Library
  • The mobile library would be withdrawn from service.

The remaining libraries would be closed, including the universal Children's Centres services delivered in those libraries. Expressions of interest from community groups, organisations or businesses wishing to establish a community-managed library are invited via their county councillor. These community-managed libraries would sit outside of the statutory library service offered by the Council.

Option 2

  • Retain countywide digital, information and business offer
  • Retain 15 libraries and further develop as community hubs – 8 large libraries, 7 medium libraries
  • Investigate potential future library service provision to additional location in Corby
  • Extend Library to You to replace Mobile Library
  • The mobile library would be withdrawn from service.
  • The remaining libraries would be closed, including the universal Children's Centres services delivered in those libraries.

Option 3

  • Retain countywide digital, information and business offer
  • Retain 8 libraries and further develop as community hubs
  • Extend Library to You to replace Mobile Library
  • The mobile library would be withdrawn from service
  • The remaining libraries would be closed, including the universal Children's Centres services delivered in those libraries

In all three options, libraries with Children's Centre designation are proposed for closure so it is important to consider the full range of services provided at the libraries when thinking about each of the proposals. Details of the proposals, copies of the Cabinet Paper and information about each library at risk of closure can be found on our web site.

How to give your views

We want to hear your views about these options to understand the possible impact of the proposals and what would be the best way forward for the Library and Information Service in Northamptonshire.

Please visit our web site for all of the different ways you can give your feedback to these proposals, including our online questionnaire and public events.

This consultation closes at 5pm on 13th January 2018.

Details of this consultation and other past and present consultations are available on Northamptonshire County Council's Consultation Register.

Tags: News, Northampton County Council, Consultation