Libraries consultation launched

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A consultation will be held to discuss the future of library services across the area.

The community is being encouraged to get more involved in Lincolnshire’s library service.

The initial proposal is that there will continue to be 15 council-staffed libraries, as well as a wide range of online services such as e-books and audio books. At the same time, local communities are being given the opportunity to take over their local library or create their own, with professional support from the council.

Councillor Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, said: “The way in which libraries are used is changing, not just in Lincolnshire, but across the country. In Lincolnshire, 82 per cent of the population are not active borrowers, and book stock issued in the county in the last 10 years has dropped from five million to under three million.

“Smart phones, tablets, Kindles and new technology are changing the way we do things. The library service is changing, like it or not, and our vision for the future of the service is a comprehensive one, but one that remains both affordable and efficient.

“Despite the need for change, our ambition is to keep all of Lincolnshire’s libraries open. However, this is only going to work with the support of our local communities.

“A consultation will help us gauge whether that appetite is there. Whatever your views, it’s important you have your say.”

The council will also continue to provide up to 126 mobile library stops. Those that are discontinued will be replaced by a home library service for those unable to visit the nearest alternative because of disability, age, ill health or caring responsibilities.

For further details on the proposals and to take part in the consultation, please visit Alternatively, call 01522 782010 or pick up a copy of the questionnaire in a local library.

The consultation runs until Monday, September, 30 2013.

The 15 core libraries that the council proposes to retain are:

Tier 1 (open 50 hours per week), Boston, Gainsborough, Grantham, Lincoln, Louth, Mablethorpe, Skegness, Sleaford, Spalding, Stamford.

Tier 2 (open at least 25 hours per week), Bourne, Market Rasen, Horncastle, Long Sutton and Woodhall Spa.