Update on Plans for Surrey Libraries

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Surrey County Council held a Cabinet meeting on 27 September 2011. During this meeting the future of Surrey’s Public Library network was discussed and the following recommendations were made.

  • 10 libraries to be provided via Community partnership and to be run by volunteers. 9 more libraries may be run in a similar manner if the 1st 10 are regarded as successful when they are reviewed after April 2013.
  • Molesey Library is no longer to be run in Community partnership, but will remain as part of the main Surrey Libraries network.
  • The 10 libraries won’t be staffed by Surrey County Council in 2012/2013. If any of them haven’t progressed towards community partnership by December their future will be re-considered.
  • Services to replace the mobile libraries will be endorsed. NB: The mobile libraries ran for the last time in Surrey last week.

Further details of these recommendations can be found here.

During the meeting, a number of questions were raised by library users/campaigners regarding the changes to the library service.

The recommendations were passed by Cabinet.

Campaigners outside Woking Library

Campaigners outside Woking Library (c) ggstopflat/Flickr

Following this, on Saturday morning library campaigners held a number of events at libraries in Surrey that would be affected by the decisions. In the afternoon, a rally was held outside Woking Library. The aim being to highlight and challenge the changes being made to Surrey Libraries. Campaigners also collected petition signatures, for both the local campaign & the W.I. national campaign. A number of people spoke at the rally: Alan Gibbons sent a message of support, UNISON spoke about the cuts, campaigners talked about Surrey’s plans and their concerns and, as a representative for Voices For The Library, I highlighted the value of public libraries by reading out quotes/comments from library users throughout the country.

Next week (Tuesday 11th October) the Cabinet decision regarding the recommendations will be passed to a full Council meeting.
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