Plans to cut opening hours at Market Rasen Library

Market Rasen Library’s opening times could be cut by three hours if county council proposals are approved.

Lincolnshire County Council is holding a public consultation on the shape of future library services. The initial proposal is that there will continue to be 15 council-staffed libraries, as well as a wide range of online services such as e-books and audio books. At the same time, local communities are being given the opportunity to take over their local library or create their own, with professional support from the council.

Market Rasen Library is currently open 28 hours a week - this would be cut to 25.

Executive member for libraries coun Nick Worth said: “The way in which libraries are used is changing, not just in Lincolnshire, but across the country.

“In Lincolnshire, 82 per cent of the population are not active borrowers, and book stock issued in the county in the last 10 years has dropped from 5 million to under 3 million.

“Smart phones, tablets, Kindles and new technology are changing the way we do things. The library service is changing, like it or not, and our vision for the future of the service is a comprehensive one, but one that remains both affordable and efficient.

“Despite the need for change, our ambition is to keep all of Lincolnshire’s libraries open. However, this is only going to work with the support of our local communities.

“We will support residents and organisations that step forward and lend a hand. And by getting them more involved we think we can actually create a library service that’s better tailored to each community’s individual needs.

“Successful changes have already taken place at a number of libraries, such as Saxilby and Waddington, improving services and getting better value for money. There’s no reason why this won’t work elsewhere – providing that’s what local people want.

“A consultation will help us gauge whether that appetite is there. Whatever your views, it’s important you have your say.”

The council will also continue to provide up to 126 mobile library stops. Those that are discontinued will be replaced by a home library service for those unable to visit the nearest alternative because of disability, age, ill health or caring responsibilities.

For further details on the proposals and to take part in the consultation, please visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/librariesconsultation. Alternatively, call 01522 782010 or pick up a copy of the questionnaire in your local library.

The consultation runs until Monday, September 30 2013.