Closed book on changes to libraries

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Over half the amount of people surveyed about proposed changes to the way Whitby Library migbt be run in the future have said they don’t think it will work.

North Yorkshire County Council is having to save over £2million from its library budget – which for Whitby means it is set to become one of five ‘hybrid’ libraries across the county.

This means for Whitby it will be manned by 75% volunteers alongside fewer full time staff.

The findings of a public consultation have been reported back to Whitby Town Council following the information day on November 18.

It was held at the Coliseum and attended by 40 people where 345 questionnaires were returned, six letters received and a 1677 signature petition submitted.

59% said the proposal wouldn’t work in Whitby compared to 12% that did. 73%disagreed with the overall proposals, 42%understood why changes were being brought about and 45% said they thought volunteers should be involved in working in all of the county’s libraries.

Other issues raised by Whitby’s library users were the importance of the local librray for children and older people, loss of staff would lead to a reduction in the quality of service and the volunteers would have a lack of knowledge compared to full time staff.

A decision will be made in December about each of the county’s libraries.

Formal consultations with staff about re-strucures will take place from January to March 2016.

Recruitment for the new structure is planned for June to September of next year with full implementation set for February 2017.