Shape our future library service

Thank you to everyone who has participated in our Let’s Talk Libraries consultation about the services offered in our libraries.

We are proud of our library services and want to make sure Barnsley’s libraries meet your needs.

We know that more people are visiting our libraries, but they're borrowing fewer books. There's more demand for digital and online services, for internet access, and for flexible opening hours. That's why it's so important that our libraries keep up with your needs.

What we need to do

  • Make sure Barnsley’s libraries meet people’s needs by working closely with local communities
  • Create the new Library@theLightbox we promised to residents at the heart of the modernised library service
  • Spend £165,000 less on library services
  • Spend £840,562 less on customer services by 2020 (this includes the £165,000 above)
  • Keep libraries open - we don’t plan to close any libraries, we’re looking at the needs of each area to create a service that works for everyone
  • Meet the statutory requirements of the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act.

The story so far

Let’s Talk Libraries started in 2016 to find out what you want from your local library. This was followed by further engagement in October 2017.

Overall, more than 2,000 responses were received and this helped us to build a picture of how people are using libraries.

These proposals have been developed following research from an assessment of local needs, library performance and feedback from our public engagement.

The last phase of the public consultation which ran from 21 June to 21 September 2018 asked whether people agreed or disagreed with our proposed changes to revised opening times and the Library Strategy. Over 1,800 responses were received and this has helped us to make our decisions.

Reports on the feedback, along with a Local Needs Assessment can be found in the background information below.

What we’ve learned

  • Each area of Barnsley has its own needs. Libraries need to meet these needs.
  • More people are going online, using libraries as meeting places and for activities.
  • Only 7% of people living in Barnsley borrow items from libraries.
  • People agree with our Library Strategy which sets out the foundation for the future of our library service offer.
  • Hoyland Library will retain the current late night on a Monday.
  • The Library @ the Lightbox to be staffed on Saturday afternoons.
  • 65.5% of respondents aged 14 or over agreed with or were not affected by the proposed changes to opening hours.

Next steps

  • Silverdale Book Collection will end from 1 January 2019.
  • The revised opening hours and tiered model for libraries will start from 1 April 2019.
  • The Library Strategy will be implemented from 1 April 2019.

Background Information

To provide you with an understanding of the reasons behind the proposed changes, you can download the full cabinet report and supporting information here:


Some of the most commonly asked questions have been answered on our Let's talk libraries FAQ page.