Kent residents have just under two more weeks to give their views on a draft three-year strategy for the county’s Libraries, Registration and Archives service.
A 10-week public consultation opened on 21 November and ends on Tuesday, 29 January. So far, nearly 3,000 responses have been received.
Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “We are pleased with the level of responses so far, but we want to ensure that as many of our residents as possible have the chance to express their views.
“Our three-year strategy is intended to protect the future of all our libraries and our archive and registration offers and, in fact, enhance some of these services.”
The consultation indicates that all of Kent’s 99 libraries will continue to be maintained, although many could have their opening hours changed. “Being open at times when libraries are not well used is not a good use of taxpayers’ money,” said Mr Hill.
The results of the consultation will be considered before any decision is taken. Following that, Kent residents will have the opportunity to shape the pattern of opening hours at their local library to suit their communities.
The strategy also proposes a new approach to how the service promotes itself, by the development of a digital offer, continuing to develop its archive service building on the recent achievement of the National Archive Accreditation standard, and continuing to digitise its collections to make them more widely accessible.
Specialist services such as the mobile library, home library delivery, audio books by post, and residential home services will be brought together under one brand of Library Direct.
During the consultation period, which runs until 29 January, drop-in events have been held at libraries across the county, so people can talk to staff about the proposals.
Details the consultation questionnaire are available online at kent.gov.uk/lrastrategy or from any Kent library.
Notes for editors:
There are four more drop-in events still to be held, as follows:
Tonbridge Library, 1 Avebury Avenue, Tonbridge, TN9 1TG. Friday, 18 January 9:30-12:30;
Tunbridge Wells Library, Mount Pleasant Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1NS. Saturday, 19 January 9:30-12:30;
Margate Library, Thanet Gateway Plus, Cecil Street, Margate, CT9 1RE. Wednesday, 23 January 9:30-12:30;
Ramsgate Library, Guildford Lawn, Ramsgate, CT11 9AY. Wednesday, 23 January 2-5pm.