Independent libraries: information for interested groups

​The information, links and documents on this webpage provide a central source of materials for all groups seeking to express an interest in independently running their local library.

Please check back regularly as further information will be added as it becomes available.

Background information – Cabinet paper 13 March 2018

Following the 'Library Service – Moving Forward' paper that was agreed by Cabinet on 13 March 2018 the option to run a Community Managed Library was withdrawn and a new offer of running an Independent Library was proposed.

Defining an independent library

We previously published information around a Community Managed Library model and held information events for interested parties. This model is no longer financially viable to the county council and is no longer an option for community organisations. In order for local groups to have the chance to maintain a local library, a new independent library offer has been proposed.

An independent library is one that sits outside of the statutory provision and all aspects of its delivery and operating costs are met by the group or organisation running the library. There will be no financial support, or support in kind, from the library service however, an option to purchase some level of support will be offered.

Expression of interest process summary

The process of expressing an interest in managing a library independently will comprise of 3 stages:

Stage 1 - Registration

Organisations wishing to formally register an interest in running an independent library needed to complete a Stage 1 Registration form and return it by 4pm on Monday 16 April 2018. Stage one is now closed.

To ensure a fair and consistent process, and taking into account available NCC resources, stage 1 comprised solely of completion of the form. Telephone or face-to-face support was not available at this stage. 

Stage 2 - Expression of interest

The council will provide indicative Heads of Terms for the freehold sale or lease, including values. Running costs associated with the premises will also be provided, based on recent expenditure, to assist in the completion of the expression of interest.

Stage 2 will comprise questions in greater depth around finances and details of organisations expressing an interest.

Clarification questions will be accepted by the independent libraries team up to 20 June.

Updated deadline: Stage 2 should be completed and returned by 25 June 2018 at midday.

Stage 3

From late June 2018 onwards, for those Expressions of Interest accepted, the next stage would be for organisations and NCC to meet to agree a project plan with milestone dates, including any required actions by either party. 

Further information

If you have further questions please contact independentlibraries@northamptonshire.gov.uk and we will respond as quickly as possible.

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