Draft Library Services Strategy for Shropshire, 2018 to 2023
- Period: 26 July 2017 - 13 October 2017
- Status: Closed
- Audiences: Everyone
- Topics: Leisure and culture, Commissioning, Big Conversation
- Type: Public
* This consultation has been extended by a week due to the technical problem with our online survey tool which is affecting responses being submitted *
What we're consulting on
Shropshire Council wishes to consult with both library users and non-users, and interested organisations on the development of a new Library Services Strategy for Shropshire. As part of the development of a new strategy we are also consulting on a proposed reduction in the number of mobile library stops from 354 to 277.
Shropshire Council is proud of its library services. This draft strategy reflects our ambition and commitment to continue to unlock the huge potential that library services have to impact positively on individuals’ lives while at the same time delivering local priorities. Whilst acknowledging that this is a particularly challenging time for library services, it is also clear that they are highly valued by local communities and stakeholders alike. The next five years are crucial for the long-term sustainability and success of public library services in Shropshire.
Summary of the draft strategy
The draft Library Services Strategy for Shropshire sets out a vision in which libraries are at the heart of their communities. We want to work in partnership with others to empower everyone to live healthy, resilient and fulfilling lives, and to provide library services that inspire people’s learning and enjoyment. Our draft strategy sets out four strategic objectives:
- Improving literacy and encouraging reading
- Improving and sustaining the health and well-being of Shropshire communities
- Encouraging communities to be inclusive and prosperous
- Ensuring that libraries become more enterprising and self-sustaining
The draft strategy sets out a hierarchy of library services provision and describes how the council can meet its statutory requirements to provide a “comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons” by providing:
- Static library provision within six Tier 1 locations – Library Hubs – and seven Tier 2 locations – Community Libraries
- 277 mobile library stops, principally responding to the challenges of an ageing population and access to services in a rural context
- Digital library services including 24-hour access to a range of lending and information resources
The draft strategy does not set out to close any existing libraries, but it does recognise the need to provide a framework that allows future investment and revenue support to be prioritised. Based on a thorough review of the usage and location of existing mobile library stops, this consultation makes a specific recommendation to reduce the number of stops from 354 to 277. Our proposals will result in a saving to the council of an estimated £375,000 per annum from the end of 2022/23. Any alternative proposals should be made within the context of the council’s financial situation.
The draft strategy will be supported by the development of a detailed action plan to cover the period 2018/19 to 2022/23.
The draft strategy is underpinned by an understanding of the unique character of Shropshire and the opportunities and issues facing its residents. This is included within a detailed Needs Assessment for Shropshire.
The council has a statutory duty to provide library services and wider responsibilities to meet Disability Discrimination Act, Equality Act and broader social inclusion requirements. An Equality and Social Inclusion Impact Assessment has been prepared, and this will be kept under review in the context of the finalisation of the strategy and the development of a detailed delivery plan.
The following documents are attached to this page:
- Draft Library Services Strategy
- Needs Assessment
- Equality and Social Inclusion Impact Assessment
- Mobile library frequently asked questions
- Current mobile library stops
- Mobile library stops proposed for deletion
How to get involved
We now wish to consult further with the public and stakeholders on the draft strategy before finalising it. We want to fully understand the needs and views of as many members of the community as possible to help us plan the best way to provide library services in the future. We want to hear from people who don’t currently use library services as well as people who do.
Once you have read the draft strategy please click on the 'How to get involved' tab and follow the link to complete the survey.
The outcomes of the consultation will be considered and used to inform the completion of the strategy.
Mobile library frequently asked questions
Having read through the background information and the draft strategy itself, use the green button below to access a short online survey where you can let us know your thoughts on our proposals.Go to the survey »