A 6-week consultation starts today (Monday 19 July 2021) into the proposal to reduce hours at the library from 23.5 hours per week to 18 hours per week.
The proposed change is part of an overall revision of opening hours across all our libraries which was agreed in 2018 and forms part of our innovative Libraries for Derbyshire strategy.
As well as changing opening hours in some libraries, the Libraries for Derbyshire programme also includes plans to transfer 20 of our 45 libraries over to community groups and organisations.
Revised opening hours for the 25 libraries staying under our management were introduced in 2019, and changes were also made at libraries earmarked for community management which did not have an expression of interest by a local group at the time.
There is currently no community group which has expressed an interest in running Whaley Bridge Library, which is why we are now consulting on bringing its opening hours in line with other libraries in the same position, all currently open for 18 hours per week or less.
The consultation sets out 2 options for opening times and days, with both totalling 18 hours, and asks residents to state which one they agree or disagree with. People can also give reasons for their choices and comment in open text boxes on the online consultation form.
The reduction in opening hours across county libraries, and other changes agreed in 2018, will contribute to the £1.6 million total that the library service must save.
Derbyshire County Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture, Tourism and Climate Change Councillor Barry Lewis said:
“Many changes have already been successfully implemented as part of the Libraries for Derbyshire programme and we have worked hard to ensure they have caused minimum disruption to users of the service.
“This consultation is necessary as we need to bring consistency to opening hours at all our libraries and drive the plans forward, and it is important that people who use Whaley Bridge Library have their say.
“Our aim remains the same, to ensure we have a thriving library service that suits the people who use it, and reflects the different ways they use it, including embracing new technology.
“I’ve always said no libraries will close on my watch and we will shortly be relaunching our drive to engage with communities and encourage them to work together with us to ensure the service goes from strength to strength.”
Take part in the Whaley Bridge Library consultation online or pick up a paper copy from the library. You can also phone the library tel: 01629 533354 during its opening hours. The consultation closes on Sunday 29 August 2021.