Library Services Review
This information is about a consultation we carried out from November 2014 to March 2015. We have kept it here to provide background information on the Library Service. If you are interested in our public engagement, Listening, Learning, Changing - the future of hubs and libraries, please visit www.somerset.gov.uk/hubsandlibraries - which runs from 17 December 2015 to 11 February 2016.
On Monday 2 March 2015 Cabinet Members approved the recommendations for the Library Services Review programme following the recent public consultation. These are expected to save the authority nearly £500,000 in the year from April 2015 to March 2016, helping to protect the most vulnerable in Somerset and reflecting the Council’s financial pressures.
The recommendations included:
- Wi-Fi installed in all libraries across the county
- the Home Library service expanded for those who cannot visit a library
- phasing out the lending of CDs
- making changes to how the Performing Arts Library Service is delivered
- introducing criteria for mobile library visits
A summary of the findings report can be found here.
The Public Network
From 1 April 2015, public library computers are available to use free of charge in all Somerset’s libraries. Library users are entitled to 120 minutes of computer time per day, subject to computer availability. Charges apply for Printing. You can find full details of the computer service, including terms and conditions of use and how to book a computer in advance on our
Computers in libraries page
Home Library Service
Promotion of the Home Library Service, and Good Neighbour Scheme services, will be increased and improved. Annual funding for the Home Library Service has been increased with the aim of supporting more vulnerable people (including those in residential homes) and delivering a more personalised service. From 1 April 2015 a new contract was put in place with the Royal Voluntary Service. The level of funding for our outreach services will be closely monitored to ensure it is adequate to meet demand. You can find out more about these services on our
Library book home delivery page
Phasing out the lending of music CDs
Currently this service is available in 9 libraries; Taunton, Bridgwater, Burnham, Wells, Frome, Yeovil, Street, Chard and Glastonbury. Our records show that the use of this service is declining, therefore from 1 April 2015 the Library service are no longer purchasing any more music CDs; this does not affect DVDs or talking books.
Performing Arts Library (PAL)
PAL is an award winning service, and one of the biggest Performing Arts libraries in the region. From 1 April 2015 subscription charges are in place for the provision of music and drama sets. Overdue charges also apply from this date. You can find full details about this service on our Performing Arts Library page
Mobile Library Service
Further revisions to the mobile library routes will come into effect from 1 August 2015. As a result of introducing new criteria for mobile library visits, some stops will have been withdrawn or combined. Alternative options are available such as a one off grant to communities affected. To accommodate the changes to the service some routes may have changed, possibly affecting the date and time of visits. You can find more information on our Mobile libraries page
If you have any questions about the Library Service, please telephone Somerset Direct on
0300 123 2224.