Longer opening hours and more staff for local libraries

Residents invited to have their say on other improvements


Library users are invited to find out more about the plans and have their say on what other improvements they would like to see at the following public consultation meetings with library managers, Cllr Lillis and Cllr Brocklebank-Fowler

4.00pm, Tuesday 6 March at Sands End Library
6.30pm, Thursday 8 March at Askew Road Library
6.30pm, Monday 12 March at Barons Court Library
5pm, Tuesday 13 March at Shepherds Bush Library
2.30pm, Saturday 17 March at Fulham Library
2.30pm, Sunday 18 March at Hammersmith Library

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Longer opening hours, more staff and more computers with internet access are all part of a plan to make the borough's library service more accessible and cost-effective.

The borough's six libraries would open for 24.5 more hours every week, with all libraries opening on Wednesdays, if H & F Council's cabinet agrees the improvements on 19 February.

The main proposals are:

  • Longer opening hours (303 hours per week in total, compared with 278.5 currently).
  • All libraries to open on a Wednesday, instead of just Hammersmith Library and Fulham Library;
  • extended Sunday opening hours at Hammersmith Library and Fulham Library; Shepherds Bush Library to open on Sunday for the first time and the three smaller branch libraries (Askew Road, Barons Court and Sands End) to open during lunchtime.
  • Up to seven more staff to run this enhanced service, with qualified librarians concentrating on improving and making better use of the stock, marketing and promoting the service.
  • More computers with internet access will be installed at Hammersmith Library.
  • A new Shepherds Bush Library is planned for the Westfield shopping and leisure development in White City.
  • A main reference library will be based in Fulham Library, with smaller reference collections available at all five other libraries.
  • Fees and charges for items such as DVDs will be brought into line with those in other local authorities.
  • The voluntary sector will be approached to run a home library service for residents who are unable to get out to their local library because of age or illness.

Library users will be able to find out more about these developments and have their say about improvements they would like to see at a series of meetings next month (March), which will be attended by Cllr Antony Lillis, cabinet member for community and children's services, and Cllr Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler, cabinet member for education.

Cllr Lillis, cabinet member for community and children's services, said, "We have already introduced 'single desking' at Fulham and Hammersmith libraries so that visitors no longer have to go to several counters to borrow and return items or book time on computers. We now want libraries to open for longer and at times which are more convenient for the majority of users. We will employ a smaller number of qualified librarians who will focus on developing and promoting the overall service. This will enable us to employ more library staff overall to deliver improved opening hours."

February 15, 2007