Dear Library Customer
We would like to thank the 9,500 people and organisations who took the time and trouble to respond to the consultation about the future of Hampshire Library Service. Our exciting Library Strategy to 2020 was approved on 18 April 2016 and has been developed to ensure that the Library Service can evolve to meet the changing needs of our customers, whilst retaining our traditional services. It will also ensure the future sustainability of the Service.
The County Council is facing its most challenging period of prolonged national austerity, having seen a huge reduction in the Authority’s funding from central government in recent years. One of the challenges in developing a vibrant new strategy for the Library Service has been to meet the required level of efficiency target (presently at £1.7m by 2020) without compromising the high quality of our Library offer. We believe that we have been able to achieve this through the key proposals contained in the strategy, which are outlined below:
- The £500,000 reduction in the book fund to 2020 will enable us to ‘ring- fence’ funding to make improvements to our buildings, invest in IT and digital, and develop our staff.
- Strong partnerships will be developed with organisations that share our ethos and core values to help support the running costs of our buildings and enhance the Library Service offer.
- We will increase the use of trained volunteers to work alongside our paid staff.
- We will build on the excellent reputation of our Home Library Service to provide support to those customers who presently use the Mobile Library Service (MLS). The MLS will end on 30 June 2016 and will be replaced with a range of other options. 62% of the people who responded to the consultation were in favour of stopping this service in order to deliver a year on year efficiency saving of £360,000. All MLS customers will shortly receive an email or a letter confirming the alternative options available to them.
- 75% of consultation respondents indicated their support for withdrawing the purchase of outdated collections. Beyond April 2017 we will no longer purchase any CDs, DVDs or games. All existing memberships will be honoured until that time, although no new music or film memberships will be accepted from April ’16 onwards. This will not affect the purchase of audio books or spoken word memberships.
Full details can be found in the Library Strategy on our website
Beyond some of the key changes outlined above, Hampshire Library Service will continue to provide trusted spaces which are free to enter (including free Wi-Fi) and open to all. We will always provide an excellent range of quality books, digital resources and other content, the purchasing of which will be informed by customer need. Our well trained, friendly staff will continue to help customers to find what they want either independently or with support.
We hope that you will continue to support libraries in Hampshire by regularly visiting both our static libraries and our digital resources to borrow books, and to access a broad range of events and information.
Many thanks and best regards
Sara TeersHead of Libraries and Registration Services