Posted: Mon 7th Mar 2016

​Communities asked to discuss helping to run their local library

This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 7th, 2016

Local communities and groups are being invited to enter into talks about running libraries, as the County Council seeks to protect their long term future. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A wide ranging review of Anglesey’s Library and Information Service was recently carried out to ensure a library service which remains fit for purpose, meets its statutory duties and responds to the significant financial pressures faced by the Council. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

More than a 1,000 people responded with many voicing strong opinions about how their local library should be preserved; and offering suggestions about further investment in libraries. Most did not address the library service’s pressing need to make financial savings. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Three meetings will be held later this month to discuss ways of how the County Council could work with communities to ensure libraries remain an important resource. Local community groups and organisations are being invited to enter into talks about possible collaboration opportunities, which would offer alternative ways of delivering the library service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Several service delivery models will be up for discussion, including the possibility of communities or community groups: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

running a library service in a voluntary capacity, without any input from the local authority. All responsibility for resources, staffing and building would be transferred and the library would not be part of the County ‘statutory’ provision. Books and computers etc. would remain in the building, but the IT network would be disconnected.
taking control of the library building with the local authority continuing to offer an element of staffing and professional support, resources, and IT equipment and network. However, all running costs of the building would transfer.
offer an alternative location for the library service within the community.
maintain a delivery service of books/items to individuals who are unable to get access to a library to replace or enhance the current housebound service.
offer a place where items can be picked up and dropped off should the Library close. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Anglesey’s Head of Lifelong Learning, Delyth Molyneux, explained, “We’re keenly aware that our libraries are an important community resource, and highly appreciated by residents. However, during tough financial times, it just won’t be possible for the County Council to continue providing the same level of service. We’ll be looking at all these options, whilst ensuring that any proposed changes conform to our statutory duties as defined in Welsh Public Library Standards Framework.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The meetings will be held at: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • Amlwch Library on Tuesday: 15 March 2016, 6-8pm
  • Menai Bridge Library on Wednesday: 16 March, 2016, 6-8pm
  • Rhosneigr Library on Thursday: 17 March 2016, 6-8pm

Community groups from across Anglesey can attend any of the meetings, whether inside or outside their areas. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Lifelong Learning portfolio holder, Councillor Kenneth Hughes, added, “We’re giving careful consideration to how best to transform the service and it’s vital that community groups, agencies, organisations and interested individuals attend these meetings and play a part in discussions.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Community groups interested in attending can inform the County Council by emailing: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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