Libraries and Cultural Services: Consultation
Key points –
· Fewer people visiting libraries despite increasing population – 25% drop in visits to Surrey libraries since 2010 – and big rise in use of online services.
· Surrey spends more on libraries than similar councils – £14 per person compared with £9.89 for average county council.
· Five proposed principles to guide reshaping of services to ensure they thrive in the future – 1. That libraries are most effective in partnership with other organisations in shared spaces or hubs, 2. That new technology could offer 24/7 access, 3. That libraries enable people to learn and access information, 4. That they strengthen communities – particularly for the most vulnerable, 5. That volunteers are crucial to libraries and gain skills through their work with them.
Mr Hodge said: “With libraries, more people are using our online services, with fewer visiting in person, so we’re looking at how we can do things differently to fit better with modern life. We want to hear people’s views on our proposals to reshape the services – such as whether libraries could bring together a range of local services under one roof.”