Shropshire libraries to be reviewed to 'maximise potential'

Libraries could be joined with "other community locations" under plans to "develop the services they provide", according to a council

Shropshire Council's cabinet will consider its new library strategy next week
Shropshire Council's cabinet will consider its new library strategy next week

Shropshire Council's cabinet is to consider a new 'Library Strategy' at a meeting of its cabinet next week.

The authority, which has 21 libraries, a prison library, and three mobile libraries, said it wants to "change the way the libraries operate to ensure every location provides an efficient and cost-effective service that meets the needs of the community".

In a statement the council said all locations would be "reviewed to maximise their potential".

It said they will also consider opportunities for co-location, where they could share space within other community services.

Changes as part of the plans include the introduction of "self-service kiosks".

A report to be considered by the authority's cabinet outlines how co-location could reduce the amount of subsidy for the service.

It outlines plans to "review all library locations, potentially making savings through some building consolidation and co-location."

A statement from the council outlined the ambitions for the plan, saying: "Changes to the current library service structure, supported by a clear workforce strategy, will enable staff to adapt and enhance their roles to become more pro-actively involved in wider community engagement.

"In support of these proposals it is intended self-service kiosks will be installed in all libraries, along with contactless card-payments, and library opening hours will be tailored to reach people with the greatest needs.

"Shropshire Council is also exploring opportunities to improve interaction with people and businesses in the county by extending Shropshire Local into libraries where appropriate.

"The mobile library service will also pilot partnerships with the voluntary sector, health and local services to combat loneliness and isolation in the most rural and difficult to reach areas, meaning a wider range of services being brought to those communities."

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