Could London council be answer to Lincs libraries?

Lincolnshire Libraries Protest march
Lincolnshire Libraries Protest march

A bid from a firm that could make all of Lincolnshire’s Libraries automated and one from a London borough council are set to be considered.

The results of a Lincolnshire County Council consultation to withdraw funding from 32 libraries have been revealed and, along with offers from 41 local community groups, two private companies have shown an interest.

A private branch of Greenwich Borough Council has offered to take over running the library service in Lincolnshire, as has Bibliotheca.

They have put forward six separate proposals, ranging from taking over the service as a whole to just running 
tier 3 libraries, like that at Caistor.

Bibliotheca’s proposals could see some libraries become fully automated, with users given a keycard to access the building 24/7 and machines to check books in and out. This would cut costs by reducing staff.

Executive member for libraries Nick Worth said: “Clearly there are people who would like the service to remain exactly as it is now.

”However, there are others who understand there is a need for change in light of the ever-decreasing levels of usage and our reduced budget.

“On a more positive note, we’ve had 42 expressions of interest from local councils, community groups and other organisations willing to take over 25 local libraries or create a brand new community-run facility.”

The main finding of the consultation was that there was “widespread opposition” to the council’s plans.

Council officers will now consider the results and come up with a revised proposal, which will published on November 22. A final decision will be made on December 3.