Votes passed to slash library services

Written by Angeline McCall.

After months of debate, Lincolnshire County Council members have voted to cut library services. The county reported that the change is needed to make £1.7 million government savings.

A demonstration earlier this year to 'save Lincolnshire libraries'. Photo: Chris Gray
A demonstration earlier this year to 'save Lincolnshire libraries'. Photo: Chris Gray
Two proposals were debated during the County Council meeting. The latter proposal, known as the “Super Mobile” option, will go into effect shortly. The library system will include community-run libraries, as well as community hubs where there are no current libraries in the county.

The shift to local libraries seemed to be quickly welcomed by the County Council voters, with every voter in favour. However, “Save Lincolnshire Libraries” petition of more than 20,000 signatures seems to oppose the executive decision.

Main libraries will be categorised as “Tier 1” or “Tier 2.” Both types of libraries will reduce open hours but promise to “offer a wide range of lending services, internet access and Wi-Fi,” according to the county.

Meanwhile, “Tier 3” libraries will emerge as community hubs while “Tier 4” libraries will be mobile vehicles carrying 4,000 items of stock, internet access, and two staff members where risk assessments require it.

The discussion since the original proposal in July 2013 has beckoned County members to discern the UK’s Library and Museum Act. Jonathon Platt, Head of Libraries and Heritage, described it as having blurred guidelines: “It’s down to authorities to define comprehensive library services [included in the Act].”

In the coming months, many libraries affected will close their doors as community hubs and vehicles replace them. Lincolnshire will reap the county’s decision, whether the consequences are beneficial or detrimental to the community.

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