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Out-of-hours self service system could be introduced at libraries in Lichfield and Burntwood

A self service out-of-hours system could be introduced at libraries in Lichfield and Burntwood.

Burntwood Library

Burntwood Library

Proposals to change the way sites are staffed are being debated by Staffordshire County Council next week.

The plan would see sites staffed for core periods during the day, but with registered users able to access the building for periods outside of these hours.

However, the authority insists no libraries will become completely self service.

Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for communities, said: “Staffordshire’s library service is very important to us all, but the way people are using it is changing all the time and we must change with it to provide as flexible a service as possible that meets the needs of Staffordshire residents.

“Self service is already up and running in other areas. We can look at what works well and how we might adapt that for use in Staffordshire to extend opening times and choice.”

The report, to be considered at next week’s meeting of the Prosperous Staffordshire scrutiny committee, asks for feedback on the ideas, which will then go to the county council’s Cabinet in October. If approved there, public consultation on different ideas would begin in the New Year.

The committee will also hear that during 2016/17 libraries across Staffordshire, including the mobile and travelling service and seven prison libraries, issued 1.4million items to 25,000 members – but overall issues for traditional libraries fell by 15.8% on the previous year, while visits to mobile libraries reduced by half.

Cllr Heath said: “Over the last three years we have reshaped the service in Staffordshire without closing any of our 43 libraries.

“We’ve done that by consulting with library users, staff and the wider public about our aims and how we want to get there and that successful consultation is our template to talk about what happens next.”

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1 Comment

  1. Rodney

    5th September, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    “successful consultation is our template” ignore and belittle petitions by the people of Lichfield asking for a public consultation on the library is more your template!
    And if you dont invest in new book stock then obviously the lending levels drop, as the library service has done for years.
    More meddling by the council, making up figures to suit their purposes.