Posted: Tue 31st May 2016

Communities Encouraged To Talk About The Future Of Libraries

This article is old - Published: Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Local communities, groups, organisations and businesses are being encouraged to talk about the future of libraries, as the County Council seeks to protect their long term future. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Last year, a wide ranging review of Anglesey’s Library and Information Service was carried out to ensure a library service which remains fit for purpose, meets its statutory role 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. However, the majority did not address the Library Service’s pressing need to make financial savings. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The County Council is eager to work with communities/groups /organisations and businesses to ensure that libraries remain an important resource. Initial discussions have begun around possible collaboration opportunities, which would offer different ways of delivering library services, and we encourage any interested parties to contact us. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Several service delivery models are currently under consideration, including the possibility of communities, community groups or businesses: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • 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.
  • offering an alternative location for the library service within the community.
  • maintaining 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.
  • offering 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 pleased with the level of interest already shown but would encourage any more local communities, groups , organisations or businesses to get in touch. 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. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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 all interested parties play a part in these important discussions.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Interested parties can contact the County Council by emailing: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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