New Look Library Service Revealed: Public Views Sought

New service plans revealed

As predicted on VB back in November, radical changes to the library service proposed. This just in from the council. Ed

New Look Library Service Revealed: Public Views SoughtA radical reshaping of the Island’s library service is being considered under plans published by the Isle of Wight Council.

The proposals will be put out to public consultation from 4 January to 7 February, ensuring residents have the chance to have a full say on the way ahead.

A major focus of the plans is the development of a community-led network of local library sites, called the Libraries Local network.

Five main elements
The proposed new-look service would feature five main elements:

1 – Libraries Extra – two well-stocked, enhanced libraries at Newport and Ryde, run by the council and open for 50 hours a week.

2 – Libraries Local – a range of family-friendly libraries in local communities developed and run by community groups and local businesses.

3 – Libraries Direct – mobile libraries bringing books and other materials to local communities, including in rural areas and to residential care homes.

4 – Libraries Home – a service for readers unable to leave their homes, probably provided through a voluntary sector organisation.

5 – Libraries Online – an extensive range of online services, available around the clock, from reserving books and downloading e-books, to using research tools and learning foreign languages.

Plans follow review
The plans have been drawn up following an extensive recent review of the Island’s libraries, including a public survey and research using national data.

The review has taken place against a backdrop of needing to provide a statutory service while delivering better value for money for Island residents.

The review looked at the service in light of the harsh economic realities facing the public sector on the Island. The council is facing revenue savings of £32 million over the next four years.

Retaining services at their current level is not possible due to the diminishing resources available to the council.

The review also took into account forthcoming ‘localism’ legislation, with an anticipated emphasis on local communities having the ‘right to save’ and the ‘right to run’ local services.

Currently, the library service provided by the council runs 11 public libraries (plus three sites in the Island’s prisons), a mobile library and a housebound service. It also runs a subscription-based service supporting learning and literacy levels in the Island’s schools.

The libraries in the prisons were not part of the review. They are funded directly from the Ministry of Justice at no cost to the council.

The survey carried out as part of the review found that 49 per cent of all library use comes at just two sites, Newport and Ryde – and 82 per cent was at six sites; Newport, Ryde, Cowes, Freshwater, Ventnor and Sandown.

Many respondents noted the role of libraries as places for meeting people locally, and the range of opening hours was also viewed as important.

Local needs expressed in public survey
Cabinet member responsible for libraries, Councillor George Brown, said: “This review took a close look at how to provide a comprehensive and efficient service in difficult economic times – taking into account the local needs expressed in the public survey.

“It is hoped that, against this background, the proposals offer local communities the chance to play a far greater role in protecting and developing our library services in the future.

“The public consultation in the New Year will give residents a chance to comment fully on these proposals.”

It is estimated the proposals will deliver savings to the council of £633,000 by April 2012, rising to £835,000 by April 2013. The current net cost of the service is £1.7 million a year.

The plans would initially involve the retention of six existing libraries for a full year from the start of April 2011, with the aim of these acting as hubs for community development. These would comprise the two new Libraries Extra (Newport and Ryde) and four sites to be open on a part-time basis from April 2011.

It is hoped this interim phase will act as a springboard for local groups and enterprises to offer Libraries Local in the longer term.

Four remain open part-time for another year
In terms of actual current library sites, the proposals would mean the following:

1 – Retained and enhanced: Newport and Ryde.

2 – Kept open for a year (from 1 April 2011), part-time: Cowes, Sandown, Ventnor, Freshwater. They would remain open to 31 March 2012 with a view to supporting the development of community-run libraries in their areas.

3 – Closed (from 31 March 2011): East Cowes, Bembridge, Shanklin, Niton and Brighstone. Although scheduled to close from 31 March 2011, approaches from community groups to take on these services would still be welcomed.

It is anticipated the network of Libraries Local would not be in place immediately and there will be a period of time to set these up. Eventually it is hoped these Libraries Local would be open for a minimum of ten hours a week.

Community libraries
Some Libraries Local may take the form of community libraries, while others could be collections of books available in different locations, such as community centres, shops or other venues. It may mean ultimately that the council’s book collection is available in far more places than currently, albeit the majority of these sites will not be funded by the council.

Under the new service, the council would continue to operate its schools’ library service through its current contractual arrangements.

The two special collections held by the library service, maritime and music, would initially be held at library headquarters at Somerton until new homes and management arrangements could be identified.

Details of the consultation on the proposals will be provided in the New Year. The consultation will run from 4 January to 7 February.

Image: jhoweaa under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 17th December, 2010 2:37pm



Filed under: Budget Cuts, Community, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News

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52 Comments on "New Look Library Service Revealed: Public Views Sought"

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Only two libraries left. Shameful.

The Good Fairy
Sadly, with the advent of the Ebooks and sites like Scribd that share books, a lot of the time for free, this is a sign of the times. I love libraries, and hope they dont shut too many on the island. I have found countless rare books, and in some cases, banned books for free on the internet, they just cant compete with this. shame. I will… Read more »
Sadly, the “it’s all available online now” argument is little help to the estimated 9 million people in the country who do not have internet access at home, or those who technically possess it, but lack the skills to use it. It is probable that the island has a higher proportion of internet-less people than most places, given its economic situation and its large elderly population. At… Read more »

The IW Council have to find savings of a few percent AND HALVE THE LIBRARY BUDGET! What a joke Pugh is, indeed what a joke Island Conservatives are full stop. Shame on them.

Apparently Steve Beynon was on the radio earlier, claiming that most libraries in Buckinghamshire are already run by the the local community. This is not true. A very quick and basic internet search reveals that Buckinghamshire County Council runs 26 libraries and 3 Study Centres, and that a mere 4 libraries are run by local communities. If Mr Beynon is having trouble with his internet searching skills,… Read more »

How come the communities in the areas where libraries are earmarked for closure are denied the right to seek alternative community arrangements?

Ventnor Vintner
Sad to see this happening, but the savings have to be found somewhere. So this is what David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ really involves….. what we used to think of as basic civic services are now going to have to be voluntarily staffed and paid for privately. Now we begin to see the consequences of Labour’s profligate spending during the boom times. We were stupid not to question… Read more »
Better Red than Bled
Public finances are not destroyed, they are much better than have been for most of the 20th Century, We have more money invested in the Banks than our whole national debt and the yearly deficit would be wiped out by collecting the Taxes from the rich rather than letting them avoid them to the tune of £120 billion per year. These cuts are because the Eton toughs… Read more »
Ventnor Vintner
There are 5 periods between 1900 and 2008 when our national debt has grown by more than 10% per annum. The first was 1915 to 1919.I hardly need to say WW1 THE GREAT WAR The second was 1941 to 1946: WW2, which grew our debt to 238% of GDP The 3rd was 1972 to 1982 a period of economic crisis, massive upheaval and turbulent industrial relations. The… Read more »
Better Red than Bled
I’m no apologist for any recent labour leader, Blair and Browns record in government are appalling, not least of the crimes of omission are the failures to address the failure of our taxation system and the continued dependence on service industries set in place by the previous governments. They were in thrall to Big Business, the globalisation lobby and their cheer leaders in the international media. For… Read more »
Better Red than Bled

BTW, I have to admit I do despise the Tories, mostly for their lack of conscience but it might be also be because of the disdain they show for those less fortunate than themselves!

Wrong…Labours investment policy to improve the lot of millions of Britons was gazumped by an un-precedented collapse orchestrated by the banks…If not for the collapse Briton would be entering a new phase of development with new schools and hospitals….Yes they spent millions…every government does (this current one has already spent more than Labour did for the same period last year) But Labour had the ‘bigger picture’ and… Read more »
Ventnor Vintner

Labour’s spending plans for the current period were for substantial cuts. You are being disingenuous to suggest that the alternative to coalition cuts was continued massive labour spending (which has been at usustainable levels since 2002)

Better Red than Bled
I agree and I marched against them in Brighton last year, and supported another party in this years election. Labour are “Tory Lite” and I don’t think Little Ed the Vestas Liar is any different,(but I live in hope) The fact is international business want these cuts so they can run the health service and social services at our expense for their profit as they do with… Read more »

Winston Churchill must be turning in his grave to see all we fought for being dismantled in the name of the Tories.
If he were alive he would have been demonstrating in Parliament Square, and p**sing on his own statue if it is symbolic of what his Britain has become.

Better Red than Bled
Libraries Extra – A reduction from 11 to 2. Libraries Local – If you live in Ryde or Newport, and if some one feels like doing it off their own bat. If not tough Libraries Direct – If you are on the bus route a volunteer librarian will visit your local post office with a carrier bag of Mills & Boon, every month! And if they don’t… Read more »
as always some one need to pay for services the problem would apear to be by reading other message is that it should be some one but not me, just cant work as a local or as a nation , pity some more contructive thought can not be put forward rather than keep banging on and on re how the cuts should not be made as a… Read more »
You would think austerity measures are the the only answer….they are not and the countries in Europe that are following that tack are in the minority. Try reading the European press, who seem to have a much more un-blinkered view of how effective austerity measures are and are ‘extremely’ doubtful that it will work. You look at te countries that are doingthe best since the banks collapse… Read more »
Better Red than Bled
Eddo, We have the money to pay for these services, we just have a government that are pulling a con trick on the public. These cuts are not inevitable, there is a £120bn of uncollected tax every year which would reduce the present yearly deficit by 2/3. We have £850bn of shares in the banks we part nationalised. We will never use Trident. There is no reason… Read more »

Bravo,succinctly put

Ventnor Vintner
You say we have the money to pay for these services….. where? Our annual deficit has been as follows: 2003 £31.6 billion 2004 £35.7 billion 2005 £41.2 billion 2006 £39.0 billion 2007 £37.0 billion 2008 £25.1 billion 2009 £91.8 billion 2010 £154 billion 2011 £160.6 billion (forecast) You cannot suggest that it is the Tories fault for allowing tax avoidance that was equally prevelant under labour. Along… Read more »
Better Red than Bled
I suspect we are posting across each over, New Labour were just an expediently acceptable replacement (for the media and business) for the moribund in-breds that the Conservatives had become in 1997. At the end of my day, I care about people, not bond markets and I expect my representatives to do what they need to to protect people from this downturn and not open us up… Read more »
Ventnor Vintner
We have more common ground that I first thought, but I still do not see your solutions as totally viable. Who knows where the bank share prices may be in 5 years, but I suspect that selling them now at relatively low prices will at some stage in the not too distant future look as astute as Gordon Brown’s gold reserve sales in the early part of… Read more »

ir was only un-sustainable because of the banks collapse

Ventnor Vintner
In reply to No 5’s latest comment: I think you are wrong. As I said in my previous post, if you want to maintain spending during the bottom of an economic cycle, in order to stimulate growth and protect the vulnerable, you need to be reducing your debt during the good times. Ideally you want to be paying off debt by running a surplus. You can also… Read more »

But everything that Brown claimed ( backed up by the very same experts the Tories use now) was destroyed by the unprecedented collapse of the banks as a result of thier support of the sub-prime markey.

Britain was as rich as it had ever been…Brown was investing in hospitals and schools….

BANKS DESTROYED THAT..and our future

Ventnor Vintner
You say Britain was as rich as it has ever been…..In reality Britain was as in debt as it has ever been: The state, the general public…all feeling wealthy due to the mountains of cheap credit. You talk of Brown “investing”….I would say inves ting is what you do with money that you actually have. Brown was spending money that our children were going have to pay… Read more »
Investing using future money is what every Government has done since there were governments. Its not an ‘easy option’ to blame the banks…even the Bank of England accepts it was the banks fault. Why was it Browns lack of forsight….every country in the world went into they all blame Brown as well!!!!! You are so tied up in the propaganda of blame that you can’t see… Read more »
Ventnor Vintner
No 5 says: Investing using future money is what every Government has done since there were governments. NO PEACETIME GOVT DURING GOOD TIMES HAS EVER GROWN THE DEBT AS FAST AS BROWN DID IN 2003 TO 2006 No 5 says: Its not an ‘easy option’ to blame the banks…even the Bank of England accepts it was the banks fault. AN INCOMPLETE QUOTE FROM MERVYN KING’s speech to… Read more »
VV is using extremely flawed logic and schoolboy errors such as not adjusting for inflation. The costs for WW2 were far, far more than £15 billion when compared to the value of money today. More like hundreds of billions – and left us with a vastly higher debt than we face today. Many times more. Just as the Tories and the vast majoriy of the media, they… Read more »
Ventnor Vintner
You are right the ww2 example was a bad one to use, but it is a fact that there are only 5 periods between 1914 and 2007 when our debt grew by more tha 10%. They are as follows: 1: The great War WW1 2: WW2 3: 1975 to 1982 massive economic upheaval and IMF bailout 4: 1992 to 1996 recession post ERM crisis, high interest rates… Read more »

Of course the debt has to be reduced – but not at the rate the Tories are doing it.

And the simple truth is that the Tories have spent more this year than Labour did last year…The cost of implementing these stupid cuts is costing more than they will save.


In Novemeber the Tory Government borrowed 18 Billion…more than any government ever

Ventnor Vintner

23.3 billion actually due to higher spending on health, defence and the EU……..Oh those nasty tories spending extra money on health!

Ventnor Vintner

Do you accept that Labour would have spent even more? If so they would have borrowed more too. (Since tax receipts would not have been dramatically different).
Hint: Labour budgeted fro £707 billion in spending for this financial year. The coalition pland to spend 26 billion less.

Better Red than Bled

If you refuse to accept that the cuts are an ideologically driven exercise, then you would look at alternatives.

If you refuse to look at alternatives then you support the punishing of the poor and vulnerable who are being made to pay for this decimation of our society.

Ventnor Vintner
Nice idea, but flawed on many levels. 1. They will move elsewhere, off shore their businesses, relocate and pay the taxes that they do pay in other juristictions as well as taking their wealth creating businesses with them. UK PLC would lose jobs and tax revenue. 2. Unless you make cuts we will still have a fast growing public sector spending budget and a large deficit. so… Read more »
Better Red than Bled
@VV. The Jobs that cause the so called “structural deficit” jobs will never leave UK, just the money to pay for them. If a welfare state job needs doing some one will do it. The ConDems are attempting to move the work off the public payroll and get the poor to pay for it. To compound this they are preventing communities from protecting services that do this… Read more »
Ventnor Vintner
We should try to do all of the things you mention in your questions, but with a big proviso. We need to do it within our means. THat means running balanced budgets, paying off debt in the good times so that we can maintain services and increase support in the bad times. If our budget means that we have to prioritise, make difficult decisions about what our… Read more »
Better Red than Bled
If we have to do it we have to do it! there is within or means about it, the only people that ever support this argument have the means but not the desire. VV, you keep going on about what labour have done in the past and debt incurred, but consider this, If over night there was a computer fault that led to all record of debt… Read more »
Better Red than Bled

1st Paragraph correction

If we have to do it we have to do it! Whether it is within our means or not, When it comes to just cutting the deficit the only people that ever support this argument have the means but not the desire to support the welfare state, why is that?


agreed…the deficit is just numbers on paper

Ventnor Vintner
I always get a bit confused when the discussions get to the ‘disband fiat currency and absolve everyone of their debts’ stage of the argument. What you propose requires a global solution and probably global government. Unilateral action in the Uk of a debt jubilee would destroy our banks and our economy. The international nature of finance and business these days means a multilateral event would be… Read more »
Ventnor Vintner
@ No5, You have said before that the deficit is just numbers on a computer, but it is negative numbers on our computer or bank account and a positive number on the lenders computer / balance sheet. Why should they let us get away with it. If we defaulted we would not be able to borrow, so the cuts would have to be totally brutal in public… Read more »
Commuter Man

Governments run countries, not banks or bankers. Sure, bankers and property developers were brainless short-termists, but that doesn’t make it all their fault.

Any fool could see during boom years, Gordon Brown spent and borrowed like it would never end. That is the real reason the economy tanked, not bankers. The left lazily uses bankers to excuse Labour’s economic ineptitude.


Then why does the chairman of the Bank of England disagree with you…I think he’s more qualified than us to know..and accepts it was teh banks fault.

What was left wing about Gordon Brown?

Just another Tory apologist

Ventnor Vintner
If you are refering to Mervyn King’s speech to the TUC on the 15th of September, what he said was: “Before the crisis, steady growth with low inflation and high employment was in our grasp. We let it slip – we, that is, in the financial sector and as policy-makers…” Obviously you can put your spin on that if you want, but I read that as saying… Read more »

I suggest you are fishing for excuses and somebody to blame despite Mervyn King making it plainly obvious.

Read between the lines all you like…I prefer what he actually said

“Before the crisis, steady growth with low inflation and high employment was in our grasp. We let it slip – we, that is, in the financial sector and as policy-makers…”

Sourced from:
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike

Ventnor Vintner
….”we, that is, in the financial sector and as policy makers”….. So he blames the financial sector and the policy makers. I am quoting his very words. Who were the policy makers? Chancellor, Treasury, BOE, Monetary Policy comittee and FSA. So it looks like they are all to blame along with the banks. That is what Mervyn King said. We are both using the same quote. It… Read more »

who are you going to blame when the Tories bankrupt the country?

They already borrow more than Labour did.

Better Red than Bled

Banks, Bankers and Business donate to political parties. They do this to influence and control the Government. Why do you fink New Labour are so thucked up?

Gary Green
Hello. I am a member of the Voices For The Library campaign. Our aim is to highlight the value of UK public libraries and fight public library cuts. We are collaborating on a map identifying cuts and save library campaigns in specific areas of the country. If any other campaigns are set up on the Isle of Wight please let us know and we can add it… Read more »