Essex Council roll out library consultation roadshow

Communities / Thu 22nd Nov 2018 at 06:45pm

ESSEX County Council’s Cabinet has today agreed to undertake a major consultation on the future strategy for the county’s libraries.

The consultation launches next week (29 November 2018) and will last 12 weeks through to 20 February 2019.

It sets out a vision of a modern library service, fit for now and in the future. The future draft proposals aim to build online library services, with fewer, but better libraries and more community-run libraries.

Traditional library use in Essex has collapsed in the last ten years. There are 31% fewer people using Essex libraries now than there were in 2008 – over 100,000 fewer active users (people who have used their library card in the last year) – and loans of books and other items are down by 52%. At the same time, use of the e-library service, including e-book loans and online reservations, has more than doubled since 2013.

Essex has the second-highest number of libraries in the UK and is in the top-five counties nationally for spending on libraries – but with increasing costs and declining usage, especially at some smaller libraries, the service is no longer viable in its current form.

Demand for e-books, e-magazines and e-audio has risen by 205% over five years, from 61,000 loans to 186,000, with demand expected to continue to grow. 85% of adults now own a smartphone and one in ten use a tablet or similar screen every day.

The consultations are an opportunity for Essex residents and communities to have their say and share their ideas, all of which will be considered.

To take part, residents should visit the consultation webpage www.essex.gov.uk/libraries-consultation

Or residents can call 0345 603 7639.

Drop in sessions will be held at every local library, providing an opportunity for residents to ask questions, complete the consultation and find out more.

A list of the first drop in sessions are listed below.

Saturday 1 December

11am-3pm Colchester library

Tuesday 4 December

11 -1pm Loughton library

12-2pm Clacton Library

3.30-5.30 Harwich Library

4-6pm Brentwood Library

Wednesday 5 December

11am -1pm Wickford Library

1-3pm Braintree Library

3-5pm Rayleigh Library

4.45-6.45pm Witham Library

Saturday 8 December

11am – 3pm Chelmsford Library

Details of these and other sessions are all available on the website and will be advertised in libraries.

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2 Comments for Essex Council roll out library consultation roadshow:

2018-11-23 07:15:10

As I commented earlier, nothing is yet agreed, so, you Lefties can stop whining about closures, and the evil Tories. I wont hold my breath.

tony edwards
2018-11-26 18:23:40

For those who interested in attending the Drop in Consultations for Harlow Libraries the dates are:- Great Parndon Library, Wednesday 12 December 11am to 1pm Harlow Library, Monday 17 December 11am to 1pm Mark Hall Library, Thursday 24 Jan 2pm to 4pm Tye Green Library, Tuesday 8 Jan 2pm to 4pm Old Harlow Library, Friday 18 Jan 2pm to 4pm

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