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Libraries in Lichfield and Burntwood have been safeguarded after fears they could be closed as part of cost-cutting measures.
Staffordshire County Council made the pledge not to axe any of the county’s 43 library sites.
However, Cllr Ben Adams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, insisted ways to modernise the services offered must be looked at.
“Other councils may be talking about library closures, but we are not in Staffordshire. We have 43 libraries in the county and we are aiming to maintain them all.
“Instead we are concentrating on modernising services, making libraries into better hubs for community services and making hours more flexible. We will introduce greater use of wi-fi to make computer use in libraries more convenient for people on-the-move. It will also allow county council staff and other workers to use libraries as occasional workplaces when appropriate.
“We have introducing the latest generation of hi-tech Radio Frequency Identification systems to all major libraries. These allow people to check-out items conveniently, will save £800,000 of tax-payer’s money, and free up staff so they can spend more time with library users.”
The future of the libraries will inevitably mean other areas will suffer as the authority looks to balance the books on the back of the Government’s widespread cuts.
However, Cllr Adams believes the axe should not fall on public-facing operations. He addedL
“Like all councils we need to make savings in the way we deliver services. We are exploring other opportunities for doing that, but savings will concentrate on ‘back office’ functions – the side that the public do not see. It is our guarantee that libraries will offer the best value-for-money for Staffordshire taxpayers.
“By innovating we can safeguard the libraries themselves which are so valued in Staffordshire’s communities.”