Shape our future library service

Let’s Talk Libraries is our ongoing conversation with you 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 £872,000 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.

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 have told us they’d prefer us to explore opening hours

Next steps

  • A survey about the proposals is live from 21 June to 21 September 2018
  • We’ll review the feedback and make the decision by January 2019
  • Any changes will come into effect in 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.

This consultation is now closed. Thank you for your comments. We'll review the feedback and make the decision by January 2019. Any changes will come into effect in April 2019.