Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Library opening hours under review

Library bosses at Lancashire County Coouncil are asking people of all ages for their views on opening hours at local branches, including Lancaster and Morecambe.

The consultation is now under way and will run for eight weeks, and involves 63 of the 74 libraries across the county.

Around 18 months ago opening hours were increased or adjusted in most of the county's libraries following a public consultation and as as part of that process, library managers promised to look at the issue again this year to see whether further changes are needed.

Julie Bell, county libraries manager, said: "We want to help people across the county to get the most out of all the services on offer at their local library, and this means making sure that libraries are open at the times! when our customers are most likely to use them.

"With that in mind, we are asking people to choose between the current pattern of opening hours at their local library and the changes we are proposing to make based on our knowledge of how and when the library is used.

"Any decisions we make, including 'no change', will depend on the results of the consultation, which is why we want to hear from as many of our customers as we can.

"So, whatever your age, please do tell us what you think by filling in our simple questionnaire, either at your local library or online."

The proposals would not significantly alter the overall number of library opening hours, and, it's argued,any changes would have little or no impact on the cost of running the library service.

In the case of Lancaster and Morecambe, if the changes are given a green light, it would mean an end to evening opening hours on Tuesday and Thursdays, but extended daytime opening hours.

There are posters in participating libraries showing the current and proposed opening hours, together with copies of the questionnaire. The information is also available online and staff will be happy to help if people are not sure whether their library is part of the review.

• To find out which libraries are involved and to fill in an online questionnaire, go to http://bit.ly/openinghours2014

• People can also get more information by phoning 01772 534008 or emailing library@lancashire.gov.uk. The consultation runs until Saturday 26th July.

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