The council is set to discuss a consultation into how Slough library services will look in the future.
The council prides itself on its fantastic libraries across the borough where more than 600,000 visits are made by residents in a typical year, to borrow more than half a million books.
However, changes need to be made to the provision to ensure that library services are affordable and deliver value for money, are accessible and meet local needs and support and promote good use of technology.
The consultation will last for 12 weeks and will launch on 28 October, if Cabinet give the go-ahead.
During the consultation residents will be asked to give their views on the key issues the council should consider when designing the borough’s future library service.
There are five proposed options, listed below, which residents will be invited to comment on.
- Reduce the money available to spend on buying publications (both hard copy and eResources).
- Keep all the main library buildings open but reduce the opening and staffed hours at Langley and Cippenham and reduce the staffed hours at The Curve and Britwell libraries.
- Keep all library buildings but reduce the hours they are open, the hours they are staffed, and the space dedicated to the library. Attract other users to rent space in the building (co-location).
- Move all library services out of the current main library buildings and re-locate services to be delivered from a range of other locations across the borough.
- Close both Langley and Cippenham library buildings but maintain the staffing and opening hours at The Curve library and at Britwell library.
Councillor James Swindlehurst, leader of the council, said: “With work underway to address our immediate financial issues, Cabinet is now looking at the council’s medium term financial strategy to make sure all services can operate within a tighter financial envelope, ensuring the council’s sustainability going forward.
“We’re really proud to have provided a generous library offer over the years in Slough, which has seen us invest in new buildings like The Curve, and the council Cabinet’s preferred model for future library services is to retain our library buildings – but we want to know your views and priorities as we weigh up various options against each other.
“Therefore, we really want residents to engage with this consultation and let us know what you want from our library service so we can draw on your views as we shape these services for the future.”
When the consultation launches, there will be an online survey, drop-in sessions at libraries and online sessions for residents to share their views.