The future of Barnsley’s libraries service announced

Cabinet members have today, Wednesday 12 December, approved the new vision for Barnsley’s library services for 2019-2022, following the outcome of the final phase of the ‘Let’s Talk Libraries’ consultation.

The twelve-week-long consultation sought the public’s views on a new Library Strategy, with 57 per cent of respondents in favour of the strategy.

This sets out the new offer for Barnsley’s libraries in creating vibrant community hubs that inspire everyone to be the best that they can by offering even more services and support.

Consultation outcomes also showed that respondents wanted to see revised opening hours across Barnsley’s libraries with Hoyland Library retaining its current late night opening hours and for the Library @ the Lightbox to be staffed on Saturday afternoons. Plans also include discontinuing the book collection service based at Silverdale Community Centre from 1 January 2019.

The development of the new Library @ The Lightbox, opening in spring 2019, will lead the way for the future of Barnsley’s libraries. Offering almost double the space for IT facilities and multi-purpose spaces for a wide range of activities, it will be a welcoming hub for learning and discovery and be a fantastic asset for Barnsley. It will also offer excellent opportunities for functions and events. No budget has been taken from libraries across the borough to fund the new library development. 

Cllr Jenny Platts, Cabinet Spokesperson for Communities, said: “Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our consultation. We’re committed to listening to the public, and your feedback helps us to re-shape and re-energise our libraries offer to meet the needs of our communities and continue to provide the best possible service.

“The approved Library Strategy reflects our ambition and commitment to continue to unlock the huge potential that library services have to impact positively on you and your family’s lives while at the same time making sure we use reduced resources in the most effective way.”

The revised opening hours will be implemented from 1 April 2019.

The Cabinet report and findings of the consultation can be read in full here.

This news is linked to Town Spirit. We want to work better together. If everyone in Barnsley does just one thing, together we can make our borough a more welcoming place where people want to live, work and visit.

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