Categories of libraries
Our goal is for all key libraries to achieve the standards of Discovery Centres including 50+ hours per week and self-service operation.
The 11 key libraries are the 3 Discovery Centres, Basingstoke, Gosport, and Winchester plus Andover, Chandler’s Ford, Fareham, Farnborough, Fleet, Lymington, Petersfield and Waterlooville libraries.
So far only Basingstoke, Winchester, Chandler’s Ford and Waterlooville have self-service. We plan to install self-service in Fareham during 2011/12 and we aim to install self-service in the remaining 6 libraries over the next 2 years.
Andover, Lymington and Petersfield are open for fewer than 50 hours a week. We also aim to increase their opening hours to 50 a week within two years.
Large libraries will be closed one day a week but will be open 40+ hours per week including Saturdays and open at 9am on weekdays. They will not be open on Sundays.
They are Alton, Eastleigh, Hythe and Romsey.
Medium libraries will be closed one day a week but will be open 35+ hours a week including Saturdays. They will not be open on Sundays.
They are Aldershot, Chineham, Havant, Hayling Island, Hedge End, Leigh Park, Lockswood, New Milton, Portchester, Ringwood, Stubbington, Tadley and Totton.
Small libraries will be closed a minimum one day per week but will be open 20+ hours per week including Saturdays. They will not be open on Sundays.
They are Alresford, Bishop’s Waltham, Bordon, Elson, Emsworth, Fordingbridge, South Ham, Lee-on-the-Solent and Yateley.
We think that there needs to be significant changes to our neighbourhood libraries to ensure that they respond to the needs of their local communities in welcoming buildings with regular opening hours. To achieve this we will need to invest in refurbishing most of these libraries. We also believe that the neighbourhood libraries need to be open for at least 20 hours per week to be viable.
We are not suggesting many changes to the opening hours of our neighbourhood libraries because we do not believe they are open enough hours anyway. In these libraries we will be seeking help from local volunteers to work alongside staff to increase opening hours or possibly even to take over the running of the library, with support from the Library Service.
As part of the review of libraries we have assessed the viability of each of the neighbourhood libraries against the following criteria:
- A decline in issues over the past 5 years of less than 30%
- 10% or more of local people using the library
- Proximity to nearby library/libraries
- Located in an area of multiple deprivation
- Poor public transport to alternative libraries
Our assessment of current provision shows that 14 of the 16 neighbourhood libraries meet or almost meet, these requirements. These 14 libraries are:
Blackfield, Bridgemary, Fair Oak, Grayshott, Horndean, Kingsclere, Liphook, Lyndhurst, Milford-on-Sea, Netley, Odiham, Overton, West End, Whitchurch.