Plans for reopening libraries published

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Lancashire County Council's cabinet is to consider proposals on how it will reopen libraries which were closed last year.

26 of the council's original 73 libraries were closed under the council's previous administration.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said:

"Libraries are a vital service at the heart of our communities, offering free access to books and information, as well as being a place where communities can get together.

"That is why we're proposing to reopen libraries which were closed, as well as safeguarding full library services at six libraries which had been due to close or see the level of service reduced.

"A significant amount of activity will be needed to reopen the libraries which were closed. This will include building assessments and carrying out work to improve the condition of some buildings, recruiting and training staff, reconnecting ICT and other infrastructure, and reallocating book stock.

"Building surveys are already underway and the next step will be to produce a detailed timeline for libraries reopening. Whilst some require minimal work in order to reopen, at this stage we're anticipating that most will reopen between this autumn and spring next year."

The report recommends the phased reopening of 14 libraries, nine of which will be run by the county council and five as independent community libraries, and retaining a full service at 6 libraries which were due to close or offer a reduced service.

The report notes that three former libraries cannot be reopened since leases for two buildings have been surrendered, and the ownership of one building transferred to a school. The cabinet is asked to consider options for providing services in the areas affected.

The cabinet will also be asked to defer decisions relating to 12 other libraries to allow time for further consideration.

Tagged as: Libraries and Archives


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