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Burton’s library has major role to play in the future

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 11, 2014

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BURTON Library is to become a ‘centre of excellence’ under proposals that have been revealed by council chiefs - but jobs could be lost at another building in East Staffordshire which is set to be run by volunteers.

Staffordshire County Council has revealed its blueprint for the future of libraries across the county, where bosses are looking to save cash as attendance figures continue to dwindle.

Any fears regarding the future of Burton’s library, off High Street, have been firmly put to bed with the site seen as a key player among county services.

It is among four in Staffordshire set to become a Library Extra, which will have the ‘widest range of services’ and will ‘continue to deliver the full library offer’.

But it is set to be all change at the library in Barton under Needwood, which is among more than half in Staffordshire that will be run entirely by the community under the plans.

It could mean job losses at the Dunstall Road site after the county council admitted there was a ‘risk less people will be working in the library service’.

Ed Sharkey, of Barton Parish Council, said the news was disappointing.

He said: “We all know the county council doesn’t have the money it once did but there is vast experience in the library, people who have spent a lifetime doing the job who would know things on tap that a volunteer would not necessarily know. We are not going to have as good a service. That is inevitable.”

Staffordshire County Council’s libraries chief Mike Lawrence said: “It’s fair to say that across the council we need to find new, more efficient ways of working, and we think the new approach will help to cut some costs.

“However, these proposals are about moving with the times so that we safeguard a much-loved service.”

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