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
Read our Digital
Model Frequently Asked Questions here
Find out more about the four
remaining options here
This consultation has now
What happens next?
A report was taken to the Council's Executive at it's meeting of
You can view the
Appendix A: Library options and risk analysis
Appendix B: Libraries Phase 3 Consultation Report
Background Papers: Library Consultation Comments (phase 3)
A report was taken to the Council's Executive on 7
You can access the report
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 &