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Do you use – or think you might use – the County Library service?
If so, the County Council would like to hear your views the future of its Library Service.
The consultation period runs from Thursday 9 January 2020 until Wednesday 18 March 2020
Why changes are proposed
The way people use library services is changing. Hampshire Library Service continues to evolve in response.
As well as responding to changing needs, the library service must make savings of £1.76 million. All areas of work across the County Council are being looked at to find savings needed to bridge the current funding gap faced by local authorities across the country, as demands for council services grow.
About the consultation
Hampshire County Council is asking people who live, work and study in Hampshire to have their say on proposed changes to libraries. A 10-week public consultation opens at midday today (9 January 2020) asking for opinions on:
- the emerging vision for Hampshire’s Libraries to 2025;
- the level of need for library services in specific local communities;
- proposed changes to the Library Service and the potential impacts; and
- any alternatives that respondents may wish to propose.
The County Council is committed to providing a high-quality library service, fit for the future, that responds to a new generation of library customers. Therefore, we feel the right thing to do is focus the resources we have on where they will be of most benefit – to make the library service relevant in a way that will improve the literacy, life chances and wellbeing of Hampshire residents.
At the same time, Hampshire County Council is facing an anticipated budget shortfall of £80 million by April 2021. The council is having to look across all its services to find savings which can help to bridge this gap and the Library Service is required to identify £1.76 million towards the overall savings target
The proposals in the consultation have been carefully thought through and offer a genuine choice. As well as increasing income and improving business efficiency, the consultation includes proposals for changes to the way services are delivered. This includes options to close up to 10 council-run libraries and reduce opening hours in others. It also considers exploring better ways to deliver library services in deprived communities.
For more details
- Full details of all proposals can be found at www.hants.gov.uk/library-consultation
- You can download individual supporting documents or listen to audio files.
- Printed copies of the public consultation information pack are available to read in our libraries.
Public Drop-in Sessions
The website also has information on the public drop-in sessions that are running throughout the county during the consultation period.
Public drop-in nearest to us: Wednesday 29 January, 2:30 to 6:30 pm, at the Winchester Discovery Centre
Your feedback matters
No decisions will be made on any of these proposals until people have had the opportunity to give their views.
Feedback received will inform decisions to be made by the Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage in summer 2020.
See also from 2015: Hampshire Library Service consultation