Residents are being encouraged to help shape the future of three South Derbyshire libraries as a controversial consultation on a cost-saving plan is launched by Derbyshire County Council.

The 12-week consultation is now up and running and people can give their views via the online questionnaire at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/librariesforderbyshire

The Conservative-run county council is set to launch a consultation into the future of its 45 libraries – including Woodville, Melbourne and Etwall.

The preferred choice, put forward by council officers, is to retain 25 libraries under direct county council control, and pass the 20 others over to community groups, saving £1.6 million.

The libraries earmarked for potential transfer include Woodville, the most underused in the county.

The Schools Library Service loans books and educational equipment and resources to Derbyshire schools
Three libraries in South Derbyshire could be taken over by community groups

The county council unveiled its proposed Derbyshire Public Library Service Strategy ‘Libraries for Derbyshire’ last month, outlining proposals to secure its future.

During the consultation, which runs until Monday, July 30, residents will also get the chance to attend drop-in sessions being held at all county libraries and sign up to take part in focus groups for more in-depth discussions about community-managed libraries.

Details of drop-in sessions and how to register for a focus group can be found by visiting the website , along with more detailed information about the proposals being put forward.





Derbyshire County Council leader and cabinet member for strategic leadership, culture and tourism Councillor Barry Lewis said: “Our priority is to keep libraries open and to achieve this it’s essential that communities and interested groups work with us and everyone has their say.

“We acknowledge the importance and value of our library service but we have to consider making changes as it isn’t sustainable to continue running and funding the service the way we do at the moment. Doing nothing is not feasible.
Woodville Library is one of the services



“We are confident that the proposals we’re putting forward will secure the future of all 45 county libraries and our mobile library service and we want as many people to have their say as possible during the consultation.

"We’re also open to alternative suggestions on how to run the service but make the necessary savings, or any other ideas about the service people may want to share with us.

“This is not just about savings. The way people use libraries is changing and the service needs to reflect this.

"In Derbyshire between 2012/13 and 2016/17 book issues in the county saw a reduction of 33 per cent in line with the national trend, and there was a 21 per cent decline in physical visits.



“More people are using technology and access books and information in different ways. Our library service must ensure it is modern and fit for the future to continue to match people’s expectations, how they want to use the service, what for and when.”

During the consultation, people are being asked to comment on the council’s preferred option which would see 25 libraries remaining under council control and 20 libraries being taken over and managed by local community groups, interested parties or agencies.

Community-managed libraries would receive grant funding from the council for up to four years and people running them would receive full training and ongoing professional support.

Further proposed changes would include reducing opening hours at council-run libraries at quieter times and changing the way the mobile library service is run, with a view to the service being transferred to community management.