Public consultation on changing the way library services are provided
Monday, 10 February 2014
Hampshire County Council is looking carefully at how best to provide culture and recreation services while facing a 12% cut in spending, with savings needed by 2015.
Proposals are being considered to re-provision three small libraries and to reduce the number of underused stops in the mobile library service to make it more efficient.
The County Council is consulting library customers, staff and library partners on proposals to change the way library services are provided in Grayshott, Kingsclere and Milford-on-Sea. This could mean transferring the running of these smaller libraries to local community groups, as successfully shown in North Baddesley, in the Test Valley, and Stanmore, in Winchester - or replacing each library with a half day weekly mobile library stop.
Partnership work with the local community safeguarded a library service for the Stanmore area in December 2012, when the library there would have closed because it was Hampshire's smallest and least-used library. The library is now run by the staff in The Carroll Centre in Stanmore on a day-to-day basis. Hampshire's Library Service continues to provide the Centre with books support and resources including a self-service kiosk so people can issue and return books themselves.
In addition, library services in North Baddesley are in good hands thanks to a partnership established between Hampshire County Council and the Friends of North Baddesley Library (FONBL). The running of the library was transferred to FONBL which ensured that a library continued to be provided for that community.
The transfer of these two libraries to local community groups has been very successful. The opening hours at both these libraries have increased since their transfer to the local community, with Stanmore's book issues increasing by 14% and North Baddesley's by 18%.
Views are also being sought on a review of the least-used mobile library stops. The proposals are to reduce the number of mobile library vehicles from five to three and the number of stops from 350 to 250, including the Family Library Link Bus which operates in parts of Havant, Portchester and Gosport.
The consultation runs until Friday 2 May 2014.
Councillor Keith Chapman, Executive Member for Culture and Recreation at Hampshire County Council, said: "As all council services look to save 12% from spending by 2015, Hampshire's Library Service is no exception. We've examined a number of ways we might make some savings, considering what changes would impact the least, while protecting provision for as many people as possible.
Alternatively consultation forms are available at Grayshott, Kingsclere and Milford-on-Sea libraries and are being given out to mobile library customers.
If your local group or organisation is interested in exploring the opportunity to take over fullresponsibility for Kingsclere, Grayshott or Milford-on-Sea library please contact Alec Kennedy, Head of Library Operations Library Headquarters, Units 5 and 6 Moorside Place, Moorside Road, Winchester, SO23 7FZ, or email email@example.com
Interested parties should register their initial interest by Friday 2 May 2014.