The County Council has now agreed the following strategy for the future of public libraries in Cambridgeshire, which aims to maintain library services across the county whilst managing very challenging financial savings:
Externalisation of the service to a charitable trust, together with related services including archives, cultural services, and adult learning and skills.
A shared approach to the delivery of library support and specialised services with four other local library authorities in order to make economies of scale, in a project called SPINE (Shared Partnership In the East)
A new approach to service delivery based on libraries working in groups, enabling more self service use of library services, re-designing work processes, and reducing the number of staff
Encouraging much greater community participation in the management and running of library services through volunteering and acting on Friends Groups, Community Management Boards, and the Board of Trustees
A review of the library network to make savings whilst ensuring a comprehensive and efficient service based on community need, including exploring the potential for library services to join with other services as part of multi agency ‘community hubs’
These changes will affect all libraries in Cambridgeshire. Library services are at the heart of communities and we are keen to ensure that all members of the community are able to fully engage with the strategy for the future. We are holding public information meetings in each district of the county and these will provide opportunities for people to comment, including on:
- options for combining services in community hubs
- ways in which individuals and communities can get involved
Details of the Huntingdonshire meeting are given below:
Tuesday 29th March 2011
In addition to this, 13 libraries have been selected for particular review following an initial assessment of community need and library performance.
We will be inviting more communities to run their own library facilities, in a similar way to the existing community run Library Access Points. This may also result in some library closures, following careful assessment of the needs of local communities and the use made of libraries, if sufficient savings cannot be found from the above approaches
The 13 libraries are:
Detailed public consultation and engagement meetings have been organised for each of these 13 communities. These will include information about the strategy for all libraries, as well as more detailed information about the initial assessment of library performance and community need.
Details of meetings in your area are shown below:
Sawtry Library ~ Monday 4th April 2011
Sawtry Community College
Buckden Library ~ Friday 8th April 2011
Millennium Hall, Buckden
Yaxley Library ~ Thursday 26th May 2011
Queens Park Pavilion, Yaxley
Warboys Library ~ Wednesday 18th May 2011
Parish Centre, Warboys
Thank you in advance for your support of your local library. The current public consultation is a vital part of the decision making process for the future of Cambridgeshire’s libraries and we look forward to seeing you there.
If you would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me or please see our website www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/
Acting Head of Libraries, Archives and Information Servic
March 2011 Top