Fresh thinking needed on new library

December 22 2014

THE council is being urged to consider the new baths development in a consultation launched to address the future of Bristol's library service.

THE council is being urged to consider the new baths development in a consultation launched to address the future of Bristol's library service.
The proposal to cut over £1m from the city's library budget was announced in November, following the council recording a "very low" usage of traditional services.
It is estimated that only 15 percent of residents within the city borrow at least one item per year.
Redland councillors, Fi Hance and Martin Fodor said: "It is really important to consider that our new and as-yet unopened library at the Baths site is considered in this consultation.
"There are all sorts of ways we could strengthen our service, given the current statistics.
"Please get involved if you are one of the 85 percent of residents who don’t currently use libraries – the council would like to know why."
Councillor Fodor added: "Given the fixed local council budget we have to be creative. Any more money for libraries means less for another vital local services so until local funds grow something will shrink.
"But while we all love libraries not that many of us use them regularly."
Head of libraries, Kate Murray, said: “The savings that need to be made to the library service will not have an effect on the building of the Bishopston Library and we are very keen to finish the project and open the new library.
“As part of the consultation we will be looking at how we provide the service at the new facility along with all libraries in our review, but no decisions have yet been made.”
Ideas which have already been suggested by members of the public at recent meetings held at libraries across the city include film clubs, public toilets, a children’s book club, specialist libraries and a stronger relationship between libraries and the health service.
A website has gone live - www.bristolfuturelibraries.co.uk - allowing Bristol residents to express views on the city's libraries.
The feedback gathered from the consultation will be used to shape the council’s 'Bristol Libraries for the Future' proposals. The first consultation deadline is February 2. A second consultation will begin in May. The final plan is expected to be agreed in June 2015.