Have your say on future direction of county’s libraries

This story was published 14 January 2020

After a decade of great change for libraries in North Yorkshire, residents are being invited to have their say on the way forward for the next ten years.

volunteers and others launch the consultation

Since 2012, there has been a shift to partnerships with communities and volunteers in delivering library services and an expansion of the activities and facilities libraries offer. This has led to strong performances, innovation and national recognition as many libraries have established themselves even more deeply as hubs within their communities.

Now, North Yorkshire residents are being urged to take part in a consultation to agree a strategy, ‘Your library, your place’, to guide libraries into the future. People can have their say online before Monday, 24 February.

The new strategy recognises the changes of the past decade and has been developed with partners, volunteers and other stakeholders. It demonstrates the council’s commitment to continue investing in libraries as a community resource able to support its ambitions for North Yorkshire.

Its aim is to provide an ambition for libraries rather than to revisit the delivery model and it acknowledges that without the support of more than 2,000 volunteers and others the service as it exists today would not be possible.

County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “We have a family of libraries in North Yorkshire that nurture opportunities through access to ideas, imagination and connections.

This family includes volunteers, charities, partner organisations, parish and town councils, all of whom are involved in delivering services. We recognise the huge contribution in time, energy, commitment and fundraising efforts of community library groups. which together with the staffing, infrastructure and financial support from the County Council is critical in keeping all our libraries open.

“The strategy shows how working together the service as a whole can develop and remain relevant to the communities served by our libraries. It focuses on four core objectives: literacy and learning; health and wellbeing; digital; and communities. These are set against key outcomes of raising aspirations, stimulating enjoyment of culture and helping people live independent lives.”

The consultation will be open for six weeks, with results being discussed at the full council meeting in May. People can take part online before Monday, 24 February.