Working together to improve Hedge End's Library Service
Thursday, 27 September 2012
Hedge End Library will extend its opening hours following successful partnership working between Hampshire County Council, Hedge End Town Council and Eastleigh Borough Council.
From Wednesday 3 October 2012, the library will remain open all day on Wednesdays until 5pm, increasing its weekly opening time by four hours.
Originally the Library Service had proposed that Hedge End library should close on a Wednesday, in order to help the service make budget savings of 8% in 2012/13, as a result of reduced levels of Government funding. However, a decision was made by the County Council, Hedge End Town Council and Eastleigh Borough Council, to take steps together to maintain the opening hours on a Wednesday at 9.00am - 1.00pm.
All three organisations funded the library's recent refurbishment and the installation of self-service terminals, in turn freeing up the time of staff. The work, completed in June, cost £50,000 in total and included an interior makeover, new carpets, books and fresh furniture.
Following this, Hedge End Town Council and Hampshire County Council worked together to recruit volunteers from the local community to work alongside staff, enabling the library to further increase its opening hours on a Wednesday.
The volunteers will be able to help customers use the self-service kiosks and the public computers, while library staff will continue to provide the full range of services, from answering enquiries, maintaining a good range of stock and providing fun and engaging activities for children.