Helping to shape the future of libraries

As you will know, we are currently looking at proposals for our libraries to make sure they are fit for future years, and we want your feedback to help us do this.

Libraries are something that are very close to most peoples hearts with most of us having used one at some stage in our lives. However, as the way people use our libraries continues to change, and the popularity of smart technology we are having to look at new ways to meet those changing needs.

We know, from consultation with more than 2,300 people and 150 groups earlier this year, that people do value their library, but we also know that visits to libraries are dropping every year. For example, last year only one in eight residents used their local library. At the same time though, the online library recorded almost one million visits in 2012/13, with the number of people borrowing an e-book doubling over the same period.

Our proposals, which we are now talking to people about would mean that more services would be available online while in some areas we would look for local communities to come forward, get more involved, and even run their own library.

I would encourage people to get involved and have their say in the consultation or drop into one of the face to face question and answer sessions that we are putting on in each of our libraries starting next week. If you can’t make one of the sessions you can always find out more about the proposals and have your say at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/libraries/connectedlibraries

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