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.

Process update (2 August 2018)

It has been decided to pause the current independent library process.

There are three principal reasons for this pause:

  1. The meetings we have held with community groups and interested parties have been hugely beneficial and, in order to fully consider the points raised at these sessions, more time is required.
  2. The applications we have received to establish independent libraries require further consideration.
  3. The council has issued a further Section 114 notice. Following this, significant work is now being undertaken to identity priority areas of council spend. Only when this work is complete can we make informed decisions about future service provision.

No library closures, temporary or otherwise, will take place until this work is complete, subject to staffing levels. We commit to working with community groups to better understand how NCC can support library provision going forward.

Thank you to all who have taken part in the process to date. We understand this introduces a further period of uncertainty. However, we all share the commitment to making sure any changes are introduced in a properly considered way.

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– Moving Forward' paper that was agreed by Cabinet on 13 March 2018 the option to run a Community Managed Library was withdrawn and a new offer of running an Independent Library was proposed.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

Further information

If you have further questions please contact and we will respond as quickly as possible.

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