Cabinet to agree longer opening hours and more staff for libraries
Move follows extensive consultation with borough residents
Longer opening hours, more staff and more computers with internet access are all on the way at local libraries.
H&F Council's cabinet is due to agree plans to make the borough's library service more accessible and cost-effective at its meeting on Monday, 14 May. This follows an extensive consultation with library users, to which more than 1,000 people responded. Nearly 200 people attended a series of consultation meetings held at local libraries with cabinet members and library managers.
Longer opening hours was the most popular proposal put forward in the consultation - attracting the highest number (526) of positive responses. As a result, the cabinet is recommending that weekly opening hours at the borough's six libraries are increased to 318 from October - an overall increase of 39.5 hours per week and 15 hours more than originally consulted on.
Cllr Antony Lillis, cabinet member for community and children's services, said, "We want libraries to open for longer and at times which are more convenient for the majority of users. We plan to 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. This was a popular option in the consultation and we have also responded to requests for late opening. The consultation meetings confirmed that most users are unaware of the qualifications of staff serving them and don't distinguish between librarians and library assistants."
The main recommendations, due to be agreed by the cabinet on 14 May, are:
May 1, 2007