Review of library services in Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire County Council needs to find £115m savings over the next four years predominantly to meet social care costs in the county. The Library and Information Service must share in this financial challenge and seek to reduce costs to the tax payer.

The low cost per visit compared to other library services demonstrates that this cannot be achieved by further efficiencies alone, and requires a more fundamental reshaping of the service to ensure it is fit for the future.

The review of the library service will comprehensively examine the current Northamptonshire Library and Information Service as it operates over its current 36 static and one mobile site against the four measures of accessibility, quality, availability and sustainability in line with the review approach recommended by the National Libraries Taskforce.

It will examine key statistics and trends within the service before setting out options about how a future library service may be shaped. It will test these proposals against the common design principles of library services and consider the impact of the proposals on the residents of Northamptonshire. This consultation and its outcomes will play a significant part in informing the new library strategy 2018-2022. ​

What might change?

We are consulting upon three options for the future of the Library and Information Service. Each section of the questionnaire gives more detail on what the options mean. The service also delivers universal children’s centres services as part of the offer. There are currently 21 Libraries that are designated as Children’s Centres.

Option 1

  • Develop community-managed library model to be offered to all other current library communities.
  • Retain countywide digital, information and business offer.
  • Retain 15 libraries and further develop as community hubs – 8 large libraries, 7 medium libraries.
  • Investigate potential future library service provision to additional location in Corby.
  • Extend Library to You to replace Mobile Library.
  • The mobile library would be withdrawn from service.
  • The remaining libraries would be closed, including the universal Children's Centres services delivered in those libraries.

Expressions of interest from community groups, organisations or businesses wishing to establish a community-managed library would be invited.  These community-managed libraries would sit outside of the statutory library service offered by the Council.

If you would like to express an interest in establishing a community-managed library in relation to this option, please contact your county councillor in the first instance.

Option 2

  • Retain countywide digital, information and business offer.
  • Retain 15 libraries and further develop as community hubs – 8 large libraries, 7 medium libraries.
  • Investigate potential future library service provision to additional location in Corby.
  • Extend Library to You to replace Mobile Library.
  • The mobile library would be withdrawn from service.
  • The remaining libraries would be closed, including the universal Children's Centres services delivered in those libraries.

Option 3

  • Retain countywide digital, information and business offer.
  • Retain 8 libraries and further develop as community hubs.
  • Extend Library to You to replace Mobile Library.
  • The mobile library would be withdrawn from service.
  • The remaining libraries would be closed, including the universal Children's Centres services delivered in those libraries.

In all three options, libraries with Children’s Centre designation are proposed for closure so it is important to consider the full range of services provided at the libraries when thinking about each of the proposals. Please see below for the supporting information which gives more details on the proposals.

How to give your views

We want to hear your views about these options to understand the possible impact of the proposals and what would be the best way forward for the Library and Information Service in Northamptonshire.

You can do this in a number of ways:

Your feedback will be used to help us have a better understanding of people’s views on the library service and other services delivered through libraries and will help us shape the future of these services.

Drop-in public consultation events

Drop-in public consultation events are being held across the two Council Budget 2018/19 consultation phases, which covers the whole library consultation phase.

All interested parties are welcome to attend. County Councillors and Lead Service Officers will be present to listen to your feedback on all the budget proposals. 

The dates of the events are:

Phase One:

  • South Northamptonshire District Area
    • Thursday 16 November, 4pm to 7:30pm – Riverside Resource Centre, Islington Road, Towcester NN12 6AU
  • Northampton Borough Area
    • Wednesday 22 November, 4pm to 7:30pm – Carnegie Room, Northampton Central Library, Abington Street, Northampton NN1 2BA
  • Wellingborough Borough Area
    • Tuesday 28 November, 4pm to 7:30pm – Oxford Street Resource Centre, 38 Oxford Street, Wellingborough NN8 4JG
  • Corby Borough Area
    • Thursday 30 November, 4pm to 7:30pm – Patrick Road Resource Centre, Patrick Road, Corby NN18 9NT

Phase Two:

  • Daventry District Area – Date and venue to be announced
  • East Northamptonshire District Area - Date and venue to be announced
  • Kettering Borough Area – Date and venue to be announced
  • Northampton – Date and venue to be announced

We welcome you getting in touch if you have any particular requirements by emailing consult@northamptonshire.gov.uk or by calling 0300 126 1000.

Cabinet Paper, EqIA and Library fact sheets

Closing date

This consultation will end at 5pm on 13 January 2018.

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