Have your say on the Draft Strategy for the future of Hampshire Library Service
This week, Hampshire County Council has published a Draft Strategy for the Library Service to 2020 which reflects the changing needs of the community. Many people access library services very differently now compared with how they used them years ago and the County Council is seeking a clear focus for the future of the Service. The County Council also expects that it will need to save money in the future but that is not the only reason for change.
The ambition is to demonstrate innovation, modern thinking and business leadership to provide comprehensive, high quality but affordable library services that are suitable for the 21st century. The Draft Strategy supports the need to make changes to the Library Service and it is proposed that the following steps are implemented over the course of the next four years:
- Place our libraries into four different tiers to provide a standardised approach to services
- Invest £500,000 every year for four years from the £2 million Book Fund to make our libraries modern and vibrant, making best use of new technology and digital systems.
- Permanently reduce the Book Fund by £500,000 from 2020 onwards
- Replace the expensive mobile library service with modern alternatives
- Review the future viability of static libraries, using an agreed set of criteria
- Increase the use of trained volunteers to support the work of paid Library Staff
- Rebrand our busiest libraries as Discovery Centres
- Develop our library staff
- Share library buildings with partner organisations for several services to be accessed in one visit
- Phase a withdrawal of poorly used library collections (e.g. CDs, games, and DVDs) and transfer other specialist collections to other providers
To read the Draft Strategy in full and give your views by completing the questionnaire, go to the Library Service web page or visit any Hampshire library service point to read a copy of the Draft Strategy and collect a paper questionnaire. Consultation runs from 2 November 2015 to 16 January 2016.