Don’t miss your chance to quiz the council leader on library proposals

Published: 11 July 2018

Published: 11 July 2018

There’s still time to apply for tickets to an event where residents will get the opportunity to quiz Derbyshire County Council’s Leader about proposed changes to our library service.

Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis will lead the questiona and answer event at Chesterfield Library on Saturday 21 July 2018 between 2pm and 3.30pm, answering audience questions as well as responding to any submitted beforehand.

Tickets are free but must be booked in advance, with people being able to apply for two tickets each.

A British Sign Language interpreter will be at the event, and people who cannot attend will be able to follow the proceedings on Twitter.

Register for the libraries question and answer event on the Eventbrite website.

If you would like to submit your questions in advance please email libraryquestions@derbyshire.gov.uk.

The question and answer event is part of a 12-week consultation which we’re holding for Derbyshire residents to have their say on proposed changes which include transferring 20 libraries out of a total of 45, and the mobile library service, to community management.

Other proposals include:

  • a reduction in weekly opening hours across the library service
  • a reduction in the materials fund (books, audio books, eBooks, eMagazines, eAudio, online resources like Newsbank and newspapers)
  • considering the future implementation of Smart libraries
  • stopping the DVD hire loan service

We’re proposing the changes to achieve savings of £1.6m from the library service budget by 2021 and to ensure our library service reflects changes to the way people access information and books using new technology.

The library service budget was more than £10m in 2010 and is currently £5.2m.

Councillor Lewis has appealed to communities to work with us to secure the future of libraries, adding that if there is a lack of support for the proposals then all aspects of the library service would need to be reviewed.

This review could lead to further significant reductions to opening hours, staffing, the materials fund and the mobile library service. Some libraries could open for less than one day a week with few or no new books or resources added to the current stock.

If any further reduction proposals were to be put forward at a later date, they would be subject to further consultation before any decisions were made.

Councillor Lewis said:

“The Q&A event is the perfect opportunity for people to come along and ask questions about our proposals, talk to others who are interested in the plans and find out more.

“Nearly 4,000 people have already had their say in the consultation by completing the questionnaire and some interesting issues have been raised, along with some useful suggestions.

“I’m looking forward to hearing what people have to say at the event and being able to explain our plans in more detail.”

If there is not enough time to answer all the questions submitted at the event, written responses will be posted after the event in our libraries for Derbyshire section.

We’ve already held drop-in sessions at all 45 libraries and has set up focus groups to cover all 20 areas with a library proposed for community management.

People who would like to get more involved in discussions and find out more about the challenges and practicalities of running a community library are being encouraged to sign up to their local focus group.

The consultation closes on 30 July 2018 and people who have not yet completed the questionnaire are being encouraged to do so.

Complete the libraries for Derbyshire consultation questionnaire.

You can also sign up for a focus group

DERBYSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL