This in from the council, in their own words. Ed
The Isle of Wight Council has launched a consultation on proposals to change the way it delivers its library service.
The council is seeking the views of local people on plans for greater community involvement in the running of local libraries, and these include proposals that Cowes, Freshwater and Ventnor libraries operate in premises shared by and funded by local partners.
‘Community supported’ libraries
This would be a so-called ‘community supported’ library – a cross between a ‘full community’ library, entirely managed and paid for by the community, and a ‘full branch’ library which is entirely funded by the council.
It is envisaged around £280,000 of the current spend on the library service could be saved with the council still meeting its obligations in relation to the service. This is part of the council’s attempts to make the best use of its limited resources in the delivery of the services it must provide by law in the context of the national austerity agenda which requires the local authority to save some £28 million in its annual spending plans by the March 2017.
The consultation, which was launched on Monday 6 July and can be found online, focuses on three main proposals:
- Community supported libraries.
- Reduction in opening hours in the three proposed community supported libraries.
- Changes to the mobile library service.
The consultation continues until 6 September, and as well as the online version there are paper copies available, which together with background information will be available in libraries, council leisure centres and help centres.
Position is strongly influenced by the national austerity agenda
Executive member with responsibility for libraries, Councillor Shirley Smart, said:
“This is a very important consultation for the future shape of our library service, and we would strongly encourage as many people as possible to respond to ensure we have comprehensive feedback on these proposals.
“As with many other proposals coming forward for council services, our position is strongly influenced by the national austerity agenda to make the most effective use of the limited resources available to us.”
The consultation will close at midnight on 6 September 2015.