Cabinet members to be asked to approve libraries review consultation at next meeting

Barnsley Council’s Cabinet members will be asked to approve the next phase of consultation with the public on the proposed model for library services at their next meeting on Wednesday, 13 June.

Under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 Barnsley Council has a duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for people who want to use it and to consult on any proposed changes to the service.

We started engaging with the public about our Library service in 2016 with Let’s Talk Libraries to find out what people wanted from their local libraries. This was followed by a further period of engagement in October 2017 whereby the public were encouraged to share their ideas.

The information we gathered and other data collected tells us that the public continue to value the library service and the staff that support them and that visits to our libraries are on the increase as people access the breadth of activities going on across the Libraries. What we also know however is that people are borrowing fewer books - only 7% of people in Barnsley borrow as more and more people access services online.

If approved by Cabinet members, this next phase of consultation will provide an opportunity for members of the public to have their say on the proposed changes to the Library Service alongside feedback on the draft library strategy.

The draft strategy reflects our ambition and commitment to continue to unlock the huge potential that library services have to impact positively on individuals’ lives while at the same time delivering local priorities.

Councillor Jenny Platts, Cabinet spokesperson for Communities, said: “We are proud of our library services and we want to make sure Barnsley’s libraries meet the needs of our communities.

“We all want to see an innovative and modern library service that has importance and relevance to people of all ages and from all sections of the community, at the heart of our communities offering even more services and support.”

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