26/07/2017 - Permalink

Shropshire residents urged to take part in library services consultation

Related topics: Leisure, culture and heritage

Residents and organisations across Shropshire are being asked their views to help shape what library services will look like in the future.

Shropshire’s new draft Library Services Strategy, which details proposed plans to ensure all Shropshire residents continue to have access to a library service, was confirmed by Cabinet on Wednesday 12 July 2017.

Books in a Shropshire library

Books in a Shropshire library

The strategy sets out the council’s vision to unlock the huge potential that library services have to impact positively on individuals lives. It also recognises that this is a challenging time for library services – traditional usage has been declining in recent years, the way that people use library services is shifting, and the financial situation remains difficult.

The strategy sets out a hierarchy of library services provision and describes how the council can meet its statutory requirements to provide a “comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons” by providing:

    • Static library provision within six Tier 1 locations – Library Hubs – and seven Tier 2 locations – Community Libraries.
    • 277 Mobile Library stops, principally responding to challenges of an ageing population and access to services in a rural context.
    • Digital library services including 24-hour access to a range of lending and information resources.

Councillor Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“Shropshire’s draft Library Services Strategy does not set out to close any existing libraries. However, based on a thorough review of the usage and location of existing mobile library stops, the consultation makes a specific recommendation to reduce the number of stops from 354 to 277.

“We are very keen to get as wide a response as possible to the consultation, from stakeholders, users and non-users. So I would really encourage everyone to get involved and take part to help us ensure libraries remain at the heart of our communities.”

An online survey was launched today  and will run for ten weeks. During this time Shropshire Council will also meet with community groups who currently manage some of the libraries, library friends groups, town and parish councils and staff to discuss the proposals and seek feedback.To take part in the survey go to https://shropshire.gov.uk/ and click on the Get Involved page.  Paper copies of the survey will also be available from libraries and mobile libraries. The survey closes on Friday 6 October 2017.