A new future for Libraries in Buckinghamshire
Date: 11-04-2011Today (11 April) Cabinet agreed a new model of delivery for 14 libraries in Buckinghamshire, following a comprehensive consultation.
This development comes at a time when budget pressures mean that all council services are being challenged to find new ways of delivering services. The County Council believe that increasing community involvement and tailoring services to the needs of the community is the best way forward to ensure a sustainable future for all 26 libraries in Buckinghamshire.
The new ‘county and community’ model for Buckinghamshire libraries will see the development of 14 community partnerships with local community groups, Parish Councils and partner organisations phased over the next two years. These libraries will be supported by nine larger county libraries and the increasing development of the virtual library and e downloads.
The nine county libraries are based in areas of high population; Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Amersham, Chesham, Beaconsfield, Princes Risborough, Buckingham, Hazlemere, and Marlow.
The 14 community partnership libraries are Castlefield, Chalfont St Peter, Farnham Common, Flackwell Heath, Gerrards Cross, Great Missenden, Haddenham, Iver Heath, Ivinghoe, Long Crendon, Stokenchurch, Wendover, Wing, Winslow.
There are a range of ways a community partnership could take shape; sharing premises with other local businesses and organisations, increasing community volunteering and fundraising, and self-managed, community-led libraries. The model is flexible and will be tailored to each local community with the ideas and development led by local residents and organisations.
The Council is committed to provide continuing support for theses libraries to ensure they are sustainable and affordable for the future. The Council will continue to provide library loan stock, IT provision and connection to the county network and public PCs, online resources and resource grants to support some of the running costs.
Bourne End, Burnham and Micklefield libraries have been supported by £1.5 million from the Big Lottery. This support has enabled us to redesign and build new community facilities at each location. A key priority in the improvement of these libraries has been involving the community to build a space for people to use for local events and activities alongside mainstream library services. These libraries will be reviewed at the end of 2011.
The Council will begin planning a phased implementation for the 14 libraries with the anticipation that the first phase will begin in Oct 2011. The library service has to make savings of £688,000 over the next three years. Of this £488,000 will be saved through this new model.
The council will continue to provide a home library and mobile service to ensure that excluded and isolated residents can access library services.
Patricia Birchley Cabinet Member for Adults and Family Wellbeing said, ‘We are positive that with our flexible approach the ‘county and community’ model can be moulded to the different needs of the local communities involved. We are passionate and committed to working with communities to enrich their local service and take this opportunity to make a positive difference to their community.’
Source: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/news/new_future_for_libraries.page ?