We’d like to invite you to tell us your views on some potential changes we are considering making to the future delivery of library services in your community and across Somerset.
Somerset County Council is fully committed to continuing to deliver a thriving, modern library service across Somerset. As with many authorities, however, we continue to face challenging financial times. Somerset County Council received £90 million in 2013/14 from central government to support our services. This has reduced to just over £26 million for 2017/18 and is set to reduce to nothing by 2020/21. However, demand for services has increased, particularly in Adults and Children’s social care services. We have managed to reduce our libraries budget by 20% since 2011, whilst keeping all of our libraries open. Going forward, we may need to consider more challenging changes in order to keep the libraries service on a sustainable financial footing.
More detailed information is available by following the links on the right of the page. New information has been added about Community Library Partnerships and Library Outreach Services. To ensure communities have sufficient time to explore these options the consultation period has been extended for a further 7 weeks, ending Wednesday 13th June (originally 22nd April).
The consultation questionnaire has also been updated in response to feedback from the public, our partners, Councillors and communities. They are based on an individual library rather than an area. All the responses we have received so far count. People who have already responded are encouraged to read the additional information. They can complete the new questionnaire or if they have any further comments they’d like to make, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, people can write to Libraries Consultation 2018, B3S, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY or contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.
What are library services?
Our 34 Somerset libraries deliver a range of library services including book, audio book and DVD loans, public computer access, reading and support groups, digital skills support, a range of digital resources (such as 3D printing, Microbits and Raspberry PIs), events and activities, business support – and lots more besides.
Many services are available online or through a network of mobile library stops. In addition, we provide a home delivery service for customers unable to visit a library for themselves.