07:00AM, Friday 24 September 2021
The Royal Borough’s libraries are starting a new chapter this month with an expanded home delivery service and revised opening times.
The council came under fire earlier this year when its budget included a plan to ‘transform’ the library service to move to an increased digital offering.
This involved a plan to close certain libraries, including Boyn Grove Library, with the remainder operating for a total of 217.5 hours per week.
More than 1,000 responses were sent to the council consultation. Since then, it revised its position and is keeping all 11 permanent library buildings open, with some reduced hours.
Libraries in the Royal Borough will now be open for a total of 314.5 hours, an increase of 97 compared to initial proposals. The changes will start from next Monday, September 27.
Other changes include an expanded Select and Deliver/Home Library Service led by local volunteers. The service allows readers to reserve their books over the phone, via email or online.
These are then selected from the shelves by library staff and delivered to doorsteps. The books are later collected and returned by the volunteers.
This replaces the Mobile Library and is aimed at residents who cannot access a static library, owing to disability or illness, or because they are full-time carers, or do not have personal means of transportation.
Councillor Samantha Rayner, cabinet member for corporate and resident services, culture and heritage, said: “The Select and Deliver Service ensures the library continues to come to those individuals and communities who can’t come to the library themselves, meaning the service remains accessible to all.
“The Library Service is always seeking further friendly volunteers to get involved and we are very grateful for the support.”
New customers can apply by calling 01628 796969, emailing email@example.com or visiting www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/leisure-and-culture/libraries/select-and-deliver-home-library-service
The new opening hours for the Royal Borough libraries are as follows:
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