Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: “New staffed opening hours for 40 of our Hampshire Libraries will be gradually implemented throughout the remainder of this year, and customers will receive further updates in due course with the exact day from which these new hours will start at their local library. To help residents understand how libraries are changing, a list of each branch’s old and new staffed opening hours is now available on our website, together with the latest information for the eight council-run libraries that have been selected for closure.
“Temporary opening hours remain in place across many of our libraries as part of our ongoing work to keep each venue COVID-secure for residents and our staff, and visitors are encouraged to check our website for current opening times before visiting. Residents can also browse our online library, which is always open and has thousands of eBooks, audiobooks, newspapers and magazines to choose from.”
The upcoming changes to staffed opening hours follows from an extensive public consultation in the spring on proposals to adapt the Library Service to the changing needs of customers, to which more than 21,000 people responded, and the subsequent decision by Councillor Woodward at his Decision Day on 28 July 2020, to agree proposals to transform the service to achieve savings of £1.76 million. A further county-wide consultation on changes to staffed opening hours, which received over 4,446 responses, took place in the summer.
The exact changes to the staffed opening hours for each branch are detailed here: hants.gov.uk/aboutthecouncil/haveyoursay/consultations/library-consultation
To find out more about the Hampshire Library Service and current individual branch openings times, visit hants.gov.uk/librariesandarchives/library
Hampshire County Council is continuing to welcome approaches from groups or organisations who are interested in volunteering to extend the new staffed hours at their local library, and these can be sent to the Library Service at County.Library.HQ@hants.gov.uk