The library service is running a short consultation to gather people’s views on whether they would like to see an increase to the current opening hours. They will also be given two options for how increased opening hours could look.
Central Library is currently closed on a Wednesday.
This new proposal is as a result of feedback from customers and from the 2017 Libraries consultation. It’s part of the work being done to improve and futureproof the service following the decision to retain all 27 libraries.
Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor with responsibility for libraries, said: “We have listened to feedback and understand the importance of the Central Library for many people across the city. For this reason we are looking at whether Central should be open seven days a week.
“Our hope is that increased opening hours, if implemented, might attract new users to Central Library, as well as improving access for our existing customers.
“So we would like to hear from those who don’t currently use the library service, as well as existing users to make sure everyone’s opinion is taken into consideration.”
In July this year the Mayor and his Cabinet decided to keep all 27 libraries across the city open pledging to work with community groups to explore sustainable options for the future of libraries.
From later this month, a series of community events will bring local people and organisations together to look for opportunities for community led activities and partnerships to create a library service for the future. This is everyone’s opportunity to be pro-active and work together to pilot new ideas and solutions.
The library team will work alongside communities to come up with solutions for extending the service and use of the buildings, while also looking at the wider needs of the local community.
To find out more go to www.bristol.gov.uk/libraryideas
If the decision is made to increase the opening hours at Central it would be funded by changes with the library service budget as a whole. This would create a number of new part time posts, but not result in any job losses. Only the Central library staff team would be affected by any changes.
If the decision is taken to change the opening hours, then it is anticipated that the change would come into effect in late Spring 2019.
The consultation runs until Friday February 15. To take part, go to https://www.bristol.gov.uk/consultation-on-opening-hours Printed copies will also be available from the Central Library.