New national statistics on library use show that cuts, closures, shorter opening hours and fewer trained or qualified staff are having a significant impact.
Very bad news in the last couple of weeks for everyone who cares about library services in the UK. Newcastle City Council, faced with a budget it says will not balance, is to cut 10 of its 16 libraries leaving the city itself with just two facilities.
If you have a view about the library opening hours that have been in place since June 2011 then we need to hear from you as soon as possible.
Hertfordshire councillors are to hold a review into the effects of a 33 per cent cut in library opening hours from July 2011 – so please take the opportunity to let them know your views.
Councillors have been brought face-to-face with the effects of last year’s library service cost-cutting measures, in which opening hours were cut by a third and the mobile library fleet was trimmed back.
A south Hertfordshire library is piloting unstaffed opening for one morning a week in order to assess its suitability for libraries elsewhere in the county.
Interesting news from down south – Borehamwood Library has received a grant from its local Town Council to extend its opening hours following recent cuts in county council funding.
This week’s Comet has a report on the recent Hertfordshire Local and Libraries panel which covers the plan to offer voluntary groups the use of libraries during the hours they are closed, and to open the doors to the public at the same time.
October has seen a development in Hertfordshire Library Service that gives us strong cause for concern – a decision to find ways of allowing voluntary and community groups to make use of our libraries at times when they are usually closed to the public.
We’re delighted to let you know about our first campaigning success – asking Hertfordshire County Council to look into the effects of reducing library opening hours.