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Library Consultation

We have been undertaking extensive consultation on the future of the Library Service in Bedford Borough. We would like to thank all those who took the time to share their views as part of this process. We received over 4,500 responses.

At its meeting of 7 September the Council’s Executive considered a report which included the responses to the consultation. A new Library Strategy for 2017-2022 was agreed. You can view the report by following the link below. You will recall that we put forward the following four options:
Option 1 - A Commissioned Service
Option 2 - A Community Supported Model
Option 3 - Fewer Libraries
Option 4 - Reduced Hours

 

What you told us

It was clear from the consultation that there is strong opposition to option 3 – fewer libraries. I am pleased to report that the Executive agreed not to pursue this option. The consultation also highlighted that none of the remaining options were clearly favoured by the public.
Therefore the Council took another look at the information provided in both of the consultations, considered best practice from other Councils and carried out its own analysis of each option. What this suggested was that any future library service should include the following key components:

• Borrowing books and other items, community participation and events, use of a photocopier and ability to study, whilst also accepting opportunities for other activities to take place (i.e. requesting information, ability to read and relax, meet other people, job hunt etc.).
• More convenient opening hours.
• Sharing space at Central Library with other organisations will be encouraged.
• The use of digital technology to increase access, encourage more independent customer use and increase efficiencies.

Using this feedback I would like to introduce you to a fifth option which combines elements of options 1, 2 and 4, the results from the public consultation and best practice models from the library. We are calling this ‘The Digital Model’

Find out more about the Digital Model here

Read our Digital Model Frequently Asked Questions here

Find out more about the four remaining options here

 

This consultation has now closed 

What happens next?

A report was taken to the Council's Executive at it's meeting of 2 November.

You can view the report here

 

Appendix A: Library options and risk analysis

 

Appendix B: Libraries Phase 3 Consultation Report

 

Background Papers: Library Consultation Comments (phase 3)

 

Previous Reports

A report was taken to the Council's Executive on 7 September.

You can access the report here

Appendix A Bedford Borough Draft Library Strategy 2017-2022


Appendix B Library options and risk analysis


Appendix C Library Phase 1 Consultation Report 

 

Appendix D Libraries Phase 2 Consultation Report

 

Background Papers Library Consultation Comments(phase 1 & 2)

 

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