Library Transformation Programme

Introduction

In these challenging financial times we, like all local authorities throughout the UK, have some tough decisions to make when faced with massive cuts in funding from central government. The Libraries service is tasked with making savings of around £1.55m by 2019 – cutting the budget by more than a half. In October 2015 members of the Council’s then Communities Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) took the decision that the Council would work with local communities to protect library services where possible. This decision was approved the following month by the Council’s Cabinet.  

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We know libraries are important to our residents and as a result of the Library Transformation Programme many town and parish councils throughout Cornwall now run their local library, in some cases extending the opening hours and providing a community hub offering a range of services. This approach has not been possible in all areas and our priority is that the Library service supports the most disadvantaged groups in our communities including people living in deprivation, those who are socially isolated and those who need access to welfare benefits and need extra support. You can read more about our aims for the future and the 2020 Vision for a Library and Information Service.

We carried out significant consultation with local communities from 2 April to 10 June 2015. During the consultation on the review of the Library and Information Service (known then as One Stop Shops), we asked for views on possible delivery models and we also welcomed business cases from anyone interested in and able to become involved in running part or the whole service. Once we got expressions of interest we also held meetings with potential partners across the county in late 2015. The 10 week consultation programme consisted of:

  • Questionnaire available on the Council’s website and in Libraries/One Stop Shops for any service user/non user to complete;
  • Printed Questionnaire available upon request by email, telephone or at any library and one stop shop site, at drop in sessions and stakeholders workshops
  • Drop in sessions for library users and visitors and other members of the public
  • Workshops with stakeholders such as town and parish councils, local businesses, local organisations, friends of the libraries and staff members
  • Library and One stop Shop stand at the Royal Cornwall Show
  • Press releases issued and communications to Town/Parish Council, stakeholders and members of staff
  • Communications via email sent to all the stakeholders with invitations and consultation updates

2,917 respondents completed the consultation questionnaire during the 10 week period. The results are in the papers supporting the report to the Communities Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) and Cabinet in 2015.

All changes in services will have been supported by a Comprehensive Impact Assessment and signed off by the Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods (under authority delegated by Cabinet).

Please follow the links below for more information: