After talking to lots of people I thought that it would be useful to put together a brief overview of Southend Council’s proposals and what this means to your library service.
The Proposals in a nutshel are…
- Friars Library to close.
- Thorpedene Library to close.
- Southchurch Library to be offered to local community to run.
- Westcliff Library to be offered to local community to run.
- Kent Elms Library to either become the “hub” Library in the West side of Southend or be offered to local community to run.
- Leigh Library to either become the “hub” Library in the West side of Southend or be offered to local community to run.
- New “hub” Library will open in East side of Southend possibly in Delaware Road – idea is to replace closed branches – Friars and Thorpedene.
- Mobile Library – currently provides a Library service to residential homes borough wide is to instead focus on being a “pop up Library”.
- Residential homes (no longer being provided a service by the Mobile Library) to be added to the Home Library Service routes within the borough. The Home Library service is delivered by volunteers.
Community libraries are staffed and managed by volunteers; the council would provide the buildings, books, IT systems and some managerial support.
How many volunteers does the council want working for them?
Have they considered the amount of volunteers that would be required if these proposals went ahead?
The proposals have volunteers taking over the delivery of the Library service at 3 branches and for over 100 Southend residential homes.
There doesn’t seem to be any plans if there is not an uptake by the community to run the above libraries. Closures have been heavily talked about in the media and, to my knowledge, the council have not refuted that this is a possibility.
If these proposals go ahead will the Council stop there? Will they be looking at the remaining 3 Libraries in Southend and looking to offer them to Community groups to run or staff them with volunteers as well?
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