Review of Library Offer

Closed 13 Nov 2019

Opened 9 Oct 2019

Overview

The County Council is in a position where it needs to make savings of £75.5million over the next four years. We propose to achieve savings from the library budget by ceasing the mobile library service and reducing evening opening hours where they currently apply. Some operational logistical changes have also been identified but these will not impact frontline services to customers.

The County Council will continue to develop the Community Hubs work to identify longer term corporate savings by more efficient use of corporate assets and service arrangements.

We will continue, through our network of 36 libraries to provide access to books and information and to a wide range of services in addition to library activities for all ages. They support in particular Best Start in Life, Independence for Later Life and Council that works for the Community. These will include our Home Library Direct service, our eLibrary service and Select and Collect.

Regrettably, we need to consider significant savings but it is important to stress that no decisions have yet been made.


Alternate formats 

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact us on 03302223247 or via email at tom.batten@westsussex.gov.uk  If you are deaf or hard of hearing and have an NGT texting app installed on your computer, laptop or smartphone, you can contact us on 18001 03302223247.

Why We Are Consulting

We are proposing the following changes to the library service and would like to seek your views on the two key proposals:

Mobile Library Service

We currently have 2 Mobile Libraries, Community Mobile 1 (CM1) based at Bognor Regis Library and Community Mobile 2 (CM2) based at Horsham Library. We have been reviewing the service for economy and usage since the last formal review in 2011 and have postponed replacing the vehicles in anticipation of a saving requirement. Unfortunately following its pre-MOT inspection in June 2019, we were advised by our transport colleagues that repairing CM1 would cost more than the vehicle was worth so reluctantly the vehicle had to be taken off the road and sold. Unfortunately we are now in a similar position with Community Mobile 2.

Since CM1 had to be withdrawn existing mobile library users have already started accessing their nearest static library. Overall use of the Mobile Library Service is in decline with a 27% drop in loans since the last review in 2011. Mobile Library customers now account for less than 1% of our total customer base, and some of those already also use a static library so for some the use of the mobile is a choice not a necessity.

What matters is that vulnerable and isolated people still get a service wherever they are.

 

Changes to opening hours

Evidence shows the peak times for library use are during the day generally
between 9am and 4pm, with a peak around 11 am.  In our largest libraries, which currently open until 7pm on five days a week, use between 6pm and 7pm has been declining. It is the quietest hour of the day in all libraries.

However, buildings on more than one floor require a staffing presence to maintain customer and staff safety and wellbeing, so per customer this is an expensive hour to offer. We are proposing to adjust opening hours patterns so that no library is open beyond 6pm, thus maintaining a consistent offer.

The full council proposals can be found here (please see Agenda Item 9).

Impact of the proposal

If these proposals are taken forward then the Mobile Library Service will cease from April 2020 and no library will be open beyond 6 pm. 

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Groups
  • Children
  • Disabled People
  • Faith Groups
  • Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transexual (LGBT) Groups
  • Older People
  • People in marriages & civil partnerships
  • Pregnancy & Maternity
  • Young People
  • Young People Aged 18+
  • Gender Groups
  • Anyone aged 18 or over
  • NHS
  • Health and Wellbeing Professionals
  • Patients
  • GPs
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Service Providers
  • Residents e-Panel
  • Teachers
  • Pupils
  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Students
  • Young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disability)
  • Headteachers
  • SEN Co-ordinators
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Sensory Support Team
  • Students
  • Universities
  • West Sussex County Council Staff
  • Capita Staff
  • West Sussex Fire and Rescue Staff
  • County Communicators
  • Have Your Say Champions
  • CLT
  • Elected Members
  • SRM Ui users
  • Cyclists
  • Bus/coach Passengers
  • Car/Van Drivers
  • Police
  • District/Borough Councils
  • Parish Councils
  • Town Councils
  • Elected Members/Councillors
  • Local Authorities
  • Voluntary Organisations
  • Community Organisations
  • Social Enterprise
  • Registered Charity
  • Bus Operators
  • Broadband Suppliers
  • Childcare Providers
  • All West Sussex Businesses
  • Employees
  • CBC Library Group
  • Local services in the care sector
  • External Consultation, Research of Engagement Organisations
  • Service Users
  • Homeless People
  • People Who Do Not Use This Service
  • All West Sussex Residents
  • Tenants/Leaseholders
  • Visitors/Tourists
  • Families
  • Carers
  • Parents
  • Key stakeholders
  • Local residents
  • Researchers
  • Volunteers

Interests

  • Libraries