Mixed Week for Libraries
It's been a week of both good and bad news for libraries this week; there were scenes of celebration in Barnet following a successful community campaign to save a Barnet Friern Library, whilst Liverpool City Council have announced that up to 10 of the city's libraries will close as a result of cuts.
Liverpool City Council's budget announcement for 2013-14 included a review of libraries and the introduction of a ‘hub and spoke’ model from 2014/15 in attempts to save £1million per year. The newly refurbished Central Library is due to open in May 2013 and the council have committed to a PFI deal of almost £2million per year for to run it. There are currently 19 local libraries in the city but there will now be a consultation over plans to reduce this to a smaller network of buildings, keeping a seven-day service at the Central Library and a community library in both north and south, alongside 6 with shorter opening hours. Other options being considered include delivery from external service providers and increasing digital access.
Mayor Joe Anderson commented:
“This has been a horrendous process, we have had to make some extremely difficult and hard choices in order to balance the books for the next year, but also to prepare for the following financial year.”
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