Posted: Thursday 1st February 2018
2 weeks left to have your say on how we deliver your library services
We are seeking the views of library users, volunteers, stakeholders and partners on our ambitions for Hertfordshire Libraries over the next few years, and on possible options for delivering the service in a different way.
The consultation runs until 18 February 2018 and if you haven’t responded already you can still take part by visiting www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/libraryconsultation, or if you prefer, you can get a paper copy of the questionnaire at your local library.
Over the last few years, through our ‘Inspiring Libraries’ strategy, we have continued to invest in the development and improvement of library services, despite the constraints of a reduced budget.
Over the next three years, from 2018 to 2021, we want to build on these achievements in the next phase of ‘Inspiring Libraries’ by:
- Improving library buildings
- Extending access
- Developing technology
- Maintaining service delivery
However, ongoing pressure on local government budgets means that the county council needs to consider further budget savings across all services. In order to achieve our ambitions for ‘Inspiring Libraries’ within a reduced budget, and to put ourselves in the best position to grasp future opportunities, we need to consider the most appropriate way of managing and delivering our library services.
A number of other county authorities (Suffolk, Devon, and Nottinghamshire) have successfully created alternative delivery models – independent, not for profit organisations with charitable status – to deliver library services on behalf of the county council. This could achieve a range of benefits, including a potential saving in non-domestic rates, and may enable the service to access grants and other sources of funding that would not be available to the council. Could this be the best way forward for Hertfordshire?
Over the next few months, we will be exploring the pros and cons of creating an alternative delivery model for Hertfordshire Libraries, so that the county council can make a final decision in the spring of 2018. Your views will form an important part of this work.