Cabinet agrees changes to library opening hours in response to consultation suggestions

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Lancashire County Council's cabinet has agreed to the recommendations on how local libraries' opening hours could be allocated across the week in future.

The proposals agreed today (Thursday 8 March 2018) had been changed in response to the feedback received from library users and partner organisations during the consultation.

An eight-week consultation on the proposals ran from Monday 2 October until Sunday 26 November.

The consultation asked for comments on the way opening hours are allocated across the week. Responses were generally positive with suggestions received from library users including that it would be better to change the opening hours or close their local library on a different day. In these circumstances the opening hours or day of closure has been changed wherever possible.

Overall the proposal means that libraries across the county will be open for more hours in total than at present. The implementation of consistent working hours will also result in a service budget saving.

A 24/7 virtual digital online service is also available providing a downloadable library of fiction and non-fiction in both eBook and eAudio format. A range of subscription reference resources are also available to all library members. These support homework, study and provide information including news, local history, business, music, government publications and general encyclopaedias and dictionaries.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "We ran a consultation on the opening hours following on from our decision in July to reopen libraries which had previously closed.

"Since October last year when the consultation period started, we have reopened a further 11 libraries. This means in reality that the county council's library provision across Lancashire has already increased by over 20%.

"We received some very useful feedback during this consultation. We are very aware that people in local areas have detailed knowledge about what would work best for them, and we've responded to this as much as we possibly can.

"People have helpfully shared their views with us on their preferred days and times for their library to be open. A number of the proposals that we've agreed to today were amended to fit with when local library users want to be able to use them. We changed the proposals to do this whenever possible.

"We are very keen to make sure that the service provided to residents is as streamlined and efficient as possible. The overall proposal means that libraries will be open for more hours in total across the county at a reduced total cost. We analysed usage figures and designed the model according to when we know they're most used, in order to better meet the demand with the resources we have. There will be no difference in the quality of service between bands.

"We have now been able to agree these proposals and I would like to thank everyone who completed the questionnaire and shared their views with us."

Each library has been allocated to one of four different bands depending upon local need, so that the library opening hours are proportionate to the population that each library is serving:

Band A – Open for 50 hours over six days every week
Band B – Open for 42 hours over six days every week
Band C – Open for 34 hours over five days every week
Band D – Open for 18 hours over four days every week

The recommendations apply to the 47 libraries that were open at the start of the consultation period and not to the 11 libraries that have reopened since. The recommendations should be implemented from 1 July 2018, following a period of staff consultation.

More information about the recommended changes to library opening hours is available at

Information about the online digital library services is available at


Tagged as: Libraries and Archives

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