LANCASHIRE County Council’s cabinet has agreed to recommendations on how libraries opening hours could be allocated across the week in future.
The proposals have been changed in response to the feedback received from library users and partner organisations during an eight-week consultation last year.
For Ormskirk library’s opening hours, 22% of respondents said they would be able to use the library but it would be a lot more difficult, while 14% said they wouldn’t be able to use the library. Key issues related to the opening hours on a Saturday and the opening hours not being suitable for full-time workers and pupils. The county council are therefore planning to change Thursday from a full day with late night opening to 1 to 7pm and reallocate these hours to provide a full day 9am to 5pm opening on Saturday.
One of the most commonly raised issues about Tarleton library’s proposed opening times is that they would put an end to the craft and reading groups held on Thursday afternoons. As a result the council is planning that the weekday early closing is changed from Thursday to Friday.
Each library has been allocated to one of four different bands depending upon local need. These are: Band One: (including Skelmersdale Library) open for 50 hours over six days every week. Band Two: (including Ormskirk Library) open for 42 hours over six days every week. Band Three: (including Parbold, Tarleton & Burscough libraries) open for 34 hours over five days every week. Band Four: Open for 18 hours over four days every week.
The recommendations apply to the 47 libraries open at the start of the consultation period and not to the 11 that have reopened since. The recommendations should be implemented from July 1, following a period of staff consultation.