Residents across Stockton-on-Tees are being asked for their views on possible changes to the library service.
As part of the continuing review of all its services, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is launching a consultation on local public library services.
In 2011 the Council agreed a Library Strategy which concentrates resources on larger libraries in Billingham, Stockton, Thornaby, Yarm, Ingleby Barwick and Norton. It is asking residents to get in touch to give their views on how library services across the Borough can continue to meet the needs of local communities in light of the major reduction in Council budgets.
The review of the library service includes a proposal to close Egglescliffe Library once the refurbishment of Yarm Library is complete, and the closure of Fairfield Library if a partner organisation or alternative host facility for that library cannot be found.
Residents are now asked to share their views on the proposed changes. To participate in the consultation visit www.stockton.gov.uk/consultations or visit your local branch library to fill out a questionnaire. Residents can also attend one of the Council’s drop-in sessions where there will be the opportunity to ask further questions, talk to library staff and answer the survey.
The drop-in sessions are being held on the following dates:
• 17 May - 6pm to 8pm, Fairfield Library
• 31 May - 6pm to 8pm, Egglescliffe Library
• 1 June - 10am to 12noon, Egglescliffe Library
• 7 June - 10am to 12noon, Fairfield Library
Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture said: “We understand that the library service is well-used in our local communities but a £73million reduction for the Borough as a whole leaves us with no choice but to propose changes.
“Although we face a significant budget reduction we remain committed to maintaining the best possible service with the available resources. In the last few years we have invested in several libraries across the Borough, including Billingham and Stockton, to create a one-stop-shop of services and the new look Yarm Library which is less than a mile away from Egglescliffe is due to reopen in the autumn.
"We understand the value of our libraries to residents and that is why we would like to hear your views on the proposed changes."
The library consultation period will last for six weeks. It begins on 16 May and will end on Friday 1 July 2016.
For more details visit www.stockton.gov.uk/libraries ask your local librarian or telephone 01642 524500.