Second phase of consultation opens on future of Chipping Sodbury library and mobile service

November 01 2016

USERS of Chipping Sodbury library have until January to comment on its future through a second round of consultation now running.

USERS of Chipping Sodbury library have until January to comment on its future through a second round of consultation now running.
A final decision on proposals for South Gloucestershire’s library service, including plans to save the Chipping Sodbury facility, will be taken in the New Year.
After fears that the town premises could close due to cuts, they have now been eased by a proposal to involve new technology and volunteers.
But South Gloucestershire Council said there had to be commitment from a friends group, which has offered to provide volunteers to help run the library, to justify continuing to meet running costs and introducing a system called Open Plus.
The new technology, set to cost £400,000 to install throughout the district’s libraries, allows them to stay open even when unstaffed as people can use their library cards to swipe themselves into libraries, giving them access to books, IT services and wi-fi printing.
The system is used in other parts of the country and a pilot scheme will be set up in Bradley Stoke library before it is introduced more widely.
Further cuts of £22 million by 2019-20 are behind changes to the library service, which will see its annual budget of £2.6 million drop by £500,000.
Councillor Heather Goddard, chairwoman of the council’s environment and community services committee, said: “We want to hear from everyone, current library users as well as those who may be encouraged to use libraries out of current hours, about how they would prefer us to proceed.
“I believe many library users, and potentially many who cannot get to a library during current opening hours, will look forward to the prospect of being able to browse and borrow books, use computers and use other library services when the buildings would normally be closed.”
Views are also invited on plans to axe the costly mobile library and replace it with community centre-based library facilities run by volunteer groups.
Consultation runs until January 2 with comments to be made via the council’s website libraries and one stop shops. There will also be a public meeting in Yate library at 7pm on Tuesday, November 1.