Essex County Council recognise that library services play a unique and valued role in our society. But in the last five years use has slumped: loans have almost halved and fewer than one in five Essex residents use libraries. The current service needs to change to fit the way we live now and in the future.
Earlier this year Essex County Council asked for people’s views on library services. They have listened to what Essex people have told them and they have come up with a set of proposals which are set out in a draft strategy. Their five-year plan in that draft strategy is for a service that:
- Keeps books and reading at the heart of our library service offer
- Embraces digital technology and e-library services
- Has a smaller number of libraries which better meet community needs
- Works in partnership with communities to run library services.
It is vital that Essex County Council operate a service that is viable to run and is relevant to people’s lives. The proposals therefore include some significant changes to the current service. Essex County Council want to get your views on these proposals.
You can find more information about the proposals and complete the survey at www.essex.gov.uk/libraries-consultation. You can complete the survey as an individual or on behalf of an organisation.
If you need help to complete the survey, would like it in large print, or would like a printed copy of the EasyRead versions, please ask at your local library or call 0345 603 7639.
During the consultation, Essex County Council will also be holding information drop-ins at every library providing a further opportunity to ask questions, complete the consultation and find out more.
If you are from a community group or organisation please publicise the consultation to your members or service users. If you would like copies of publicity material please email email@example.com.
The deadline for completing the consultation survey is 20 February 2019.
All the responses from the consultation will be analysed and findings published on the consultation website. These will be available on request for those without internet access.
Any changes proposed will be considered when the strategy is finalised in summer 2019.