Under further proposals to cut costs within the Library service, HCC is aiming to reduce the number of hours Whitchurch Library opens and to remove the evening opening completely.

Under the consultation that is now underway until 28th December, the County Council proposes Whitchurch Library should have its opening hours cut from 26 1/2 hours to 19 hours, This would also include cutting the evening opening on Wednesdays resulting in there being no service at all after 5pm. Residents are now being asked to give their views.

Morning services will take a brunt of the cuts with opening removed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. However the Library will now be open on Thursdays.
Many who attend the popular Country Market on Friday mornings and who use the Library at the same time, will have to make a separate visit should the proposals be agreed.

HCC say they need to do this to make the 8% reduction needed in the Library Service’s budget for 2012/13. They have already undertaken restructuring of staff resources and reducing the Mobile Library Service. So far savings of £2.48m have been made since April 2009.

Tom Thacker, County Councillor for Whitchurch & Clere said:

“Hampshire is committed to keeping our Libraries, and in the current climate, reduced opening times for the smaller libraries must be preferable to out and out closure.”

A local student said:

“Without evening opening I cannot use the Whitchurch Library which will affect my ability to take books out. This will make things very difficult for me”.

HCC also recently introduced increased Library fines with charges being introduced for overdue children’s books to encourage improved returns. There are presently over 33,000 children’s books that should have been returned. This prevents others from enjoying them.

The proposed changes to opening hours are(current hours first):
Monday: 10.00am – 5.00pm, change to 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Tuesday: Closed – no change
Wednesday: 10.00am -7.00pm, change to 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Thursday: Closed, change to 9.30am – 1.00pm
Friday: 10.00am – 5.00pm, change to 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Saturday: 9.30 – 1.00pm, no change

The full proposals can be seen at:
LIBRARY CHANGES

Comments can be made at:
LIBRARY CONSULTATION

Comments (1)

  • Marjorie James

    I can understand cutting some mornings, but to cut the late evening (2 hours) and replace a new morning on a Thursday, (3.5 hours) seems a bit pointless to me.

    Most people will be able to visit during 1 – 5 p.m. and these hours will probably not bother the younger/older generation too much, except working Mums and Dads. If they want to visit the library with their child, they will just have to squeeze a visit on a Saturday – along with everything else.

    People who work locally would probably visit on a Saturday, but students who may have Saturday jobs will be without a chance to use the Library in Whitchuch.

    I hope these comments are useful and that common sense prevails.

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