Libraries Strategy for the future of the service agreed
On Tuesday 6 March the County Council’s Cabinet agreed the five year Libraries Strategic Commissioning Strategy. This follows the public consultation on a draft strategy last year.
The strategy is designed to deliver a modern and sustainable Library and Information Service for East Sussex. It is designed to meet current and future needs for the county and to address the challenges the service faces, both in terms of less money to deliver the service but also the reducing demand for libraries across East Sussex as a whole.
We recognise how much people value well-regarded local services. As part of the strategy, the difficult decision has been made to close Langney, Mayfield, Ore, Pevensey Bay, Polegate, Ringmer and Willingdon Libraries after Saturday 5 May 2018. The Mobile Library Service will also stop on this day and financial support to Northiam Village Library.
More than 86% of all East Sussex residents will be within a 20 minute journey time to a library by public transport and over 99% within a 20 minute journey by car.
Future ways to access the Library and Information Service
We will still provide a network of 17 libraries to serve East Sussex residents. Our eLibrary enables customers to reserve and renew books to collect from a library, as well as downloading eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines. Customers can also renew items using our automated renewal line 0345 6080195 (24 hours).
We run a free home library service for people who cannot easily use a library due to disability or frailty, or are caring for someone who cannot be left.
New library services will be available to families with young children in Shinewater and East Hastings Children’s Centres, recognising the greater needs within the communities of Langney and Ore.
For customers of the seven libraries which will close and the Mobile Library, we will shortly be providing information on the full range of alternative ways to access the East Sussex Library and Information Service, including the nearest library.
The Libraries Strategy includes a number of new services, designed to serve the needs of different groups of residents better within our limited resources.
We will expand the range of materials and other resources which are available through the eLibrary. We will offer a new Community Library Membership to rural communities. We will increasingly promote our services beyond libraries, through outreach work with other council services and partners.
There will be new services for children and young people, including trials of term-time homework clubs for 9 to 13 year olds and study clubs for older students during exam revision periods. We will also offer a range of new free and paid services to local schools. All schools in East Sussex will be able to use a free Teachers’ Library Membership, to borrow materials to use in the classroom.
We will let you know about these new services in future editions of this eNewsletter and on our website.
Northiam Village Library is a community run library, which the local community will continue to provide. We will continue to provide the library with some stock through the new Community Library Membership. Some one-off funding will also be provided to refurbish the library.
To read more about the Libraries Strategy please visit eastsussex.gov.uk/librarystrategy
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