The first of a series of meetings encouraging Liverpool residents to have their say on the future of 11 community libraries is set to take place tonight.
The public meeting will take place from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday 25 September at the Lee Valley Millennium Centre, Childwall Valley Road, L25 2PR. This is an opportunity for the libraries team to talk about why certain libraries in that particualr area are at risk and also for people to ask questions and have their say on the proposals for the service.
The library service needs to reduce its budget overall by £2.5 million as part of the city council’s £156 million of savings needed over the next three years due to cuts in Central Government funding.
A report into the proposed library service identified 11 libraries which could be at risk of closure if alternative and viable ways of delivering services from these buildings cannot be found.
A number of discussions are already underway with interested parties about taking over the running of some of the venues which are Breck Road, Dovecot, Fazakerley, Kensington, Lee Valley, Old Swan, Sefton Park, Spellow, Walton, Wavertree and West Derby libraries.
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member responsible for libraries, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “The scale of the cuts facing us is extremely challenging and we want to make sure we’ve explored all the options available.
“We understand that libraries are hugely valued by the local community, and these meetings are a vital way in which members of the public can express their views and also find out from the team involved why certain proposals have been made.
“I hope as many people as possible are able to attend either Thursday’s, or one of the later meetings so that we can work together as much as possible to shape the future of Liverpool’s library service.”
Further meetings will take place in the forthcoming weeks and will be announced as the soon as the dates and venues are confirmed.
Under the proposals, 95 percent of people will still live within two miles of a library and the Home Library Service and the RNIB Talking Book Service will not be affected.
The city council would continue to run Central Library – which is used by 45 percent of service users – and seven community libraries: Croxteth, Norris Green, Toxteth, Childwall, Allerton, Garston and Parklands
Liverpool has 19 public libraries in total. The 11 libraries at risk of closure if alternative and viable ways of delivering the services from these buildings cannot be found, are:
Breck Road Library
Lee Valley Library
Old Swan Library
Sefton Park Library
West Derby Library
They are potentially at risk because of a number of factors including below average use, high running costs, their proximity to another library and the potential of the service being provided by another organisation or group.
To read the full proposals for the library service, please click here.