Monday, 5 September 2011

The future of Headington Library is not yet secure

Save Headington Library Group

The County has bowed to popular pressure and has reconsidered its library proposals

Instead of cutting half of all the county’s libraries, it has now proposed to keep all of them open and will introduce a self-service system throughout.

It has completed some research into how many people live, shop, work or study within a one mile radius of each library, and has ranked the results in 5 league tables: Headington is in Group 2 and Old Marston is in Group 5

County is now proposing to keep Headington Library open for the existing number of hours and it would continue to be run by county library staff

It proposes that Old Marston Library becomes a community plus library, phased in over a three year period, which means it would be run with two thirds volunteers and one third paid staff

The Save Headington Library Group welcomes the change in the County's proposals as this would mean that existing services at Headington may be saved if the results of the consultation are favourable. But other rural and small libraries will see cuts in services as they will have much less county staff support and you may wish to highlight this in your comments

In filling in the questionnaire, we suggest everyone takes care with the questions about volunteering. It is possible that the county officers may use the number of people willing to volunteer as evidence that less county library staff are needed across all the libraries in the county when they summarise the results of the consultation. You may decide to leave this section blank

If you would like to comment on these proposals and would like a hard copy questionnaire to send back to the County, then please contact the Save Headington Library group or pick up a copy from Bury Knowle Library. To fill in the questionnaire online, please go to

We are members of the bigger Save Oxfordshire Libraries group. Their committee is asking the County Officers for more information about the proposals, particularly about the way in which they will be funded, what volunteers will be expected to do and training and health and safety issues around volunteering, and whether the county is still considering outsourcing the library service to an American company

Save Oxfordshire Libraries group is hoping to put forward some alternative options for the County Council to consider which would mean running all the libraries with county staff, not with volunteers. They will hold a meeting with all members to discuss this in early September

Please do send in your comments on this consultation by 30 September 2011 to make sure Headington Library services continue to be provided by paid library staff

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