To develop new relationships and partnerships with local communities on the future shape and delivery of library services.
The Council has committed to avoid closing libraries wherever possible and has pledged instead to work with local communities to find affordable and sustainable ways of retaining local Libraries and Learning services at the heart of communities . This commitment is made against a backdrop of the County Council needing to save £2.3 million (about one third) from its library budget between 2011/12 – 2016/17.
- Local communities will be actively involved in helping to develop the future shape and delivery of Library services
- Think creatively about the future, trying out new ideas and solutions e.g. integration with other services, greater community involvement, use of technology (E book self service, intelligent stock management), growing the number of community library points, but reducing the number of stand-alone Library buildings
- A 'one-size fits all' approach to the provision of Libraries is no longer relevant.
Engagement and active involvement of local communities is crucial in reaching the right outcome for individual libraries
What are we doing? Some Examples:
Read about how the Town Council purchased the existing Pershore library building, which not only enables the County Council to continue to provide a library service to the people of Pershore located in the heart of the town, but has turned the new look library into a real community asset used by a range of community groups and other organisations.
Read about how moving Catshill library to the Middle School provided improved facilities and a wider range of activities in the library. The library is now supported by will by volunteers who work alongside County Council paid staff. This is a great example of how, through volunteering and community involvement, it is possible to improve services to the local community.
Welland and Martley – Community Library Links
These were first established in 2002-04. Two parish councils were shortlisted to set up mini libraries to be run by volunteers. Both had suitable venues, full support from parish councils and a gap in provision - in that they were over 3 miles from their closest static library.
Supported by the nearest library, service provision consists of collections of Books and PCs and day to day staffing is operated by volunteers.
- Welland library is open weekdays either morning, afternoon or one evening and is run by 12 volunteers
- Martley library is open mornings or afternoon/evenings 6 days per week and is run by 5 volunteers, with 1 volunteer as lead liaison with the local library
The County Council has provided CRB checks and the training of volunteers. Other support includes:
- On average 2 hours staffing support each week
- A regular meeting structure
- The supporting library manager attends parish council meeting annually
- £2,500 stock provided per year
- On-going revenue costs for IT provision
Working together in this way the quality of the service is maintained.
Kempsey – Community Collection
Kempsey is a community collection looked after by 1 volunteer. There is a very small collection of books exchanged periodically through Malvern library
Droitwich – Partnership Community Facility
Wychavon District Council has moved the District HUB (Customer Contact Centre) into the library along with other services – Age UK, Jobcentre Plus and Registration. Having a range of services in one building provides improved facilities to the local community.
Woodrow – Partnership Community Facility
Redditch Borough Council has agreed to move the Council's Woodrow customer service facility into the next door library in a bid to boost efficiency and improve opportunities to the local community.
Broadway – Community Group Established
Following an extensive consultation period, the local community in Broadway has come together to form a charitable community group who will take on the management of the existing library premises. The County council will continue to provide the library service from the existing premises and will work in partnership with the community group to maximise the use of the building whilst ensuring the community have access to the facilities. This delivery model ensure the local community have access to services and provides an additional community facility which is managed by the community
We will continue to work with local communities and partners to come up with
a model for the library service that works for that local area.