Southend: Plans To Change Library Services
There are plans to change the way libraries in Southend are run in a move that'll save the council almost £400,000 pounds in the next three years.
The council say 'the plans aim to meet the changing needs of library users, to involve the community more directly in operating local branch libraries, and help meet a £378,000 budget cut over the next three years.'
The proposals are:
- Southend will get a new main central library (opening in September).
- Branch libraries are to be concentrated into two hubs - one for the east of the town and one for the West.
- The East library hub would be established on a site in Delaware Road, Shoeburyness, from an amalgamation of the existing Thorpedene and Friars Libraries.
- The West Library hub would be based at either Kent Elms Library or Leigh Library.
- The library which did not form the West hub - in addition to Southchurch and Westcliff libraries - would then be offered to voluntary groups as a Community Library.
- In Community Libraries, the Council would still provide the building, the books, computer access and management support, but the libraries themselves would be staffed by volunteers, who could embrace a greater range activities too and work with other organisations.
- A 24-hour virtual library would also be developed.
- Changes would be made to extend existing mobile library and the home library services.
- Pop-up libraries would also be installed at various locations.