Looking to the future for local libraries

Beverley Library users Helen Caldwell and her sons Niall (left) and Aedan.
Beverley Library users Helen Caldwell and her sons Niall (left) and Aedan.

BEVERLEY’S public library is among libraries across the East Riding where services are continuing to improve - despite cutbacks in other parts of the country.

East Riding Council has adopted a new strategy setting out a plan for the library service for the next five years.

A number of councils elsewhere in the UK are closing libraries or reducing staffing levels and opening hours in order to meet budget reductions.

Council chiefs say this has been avoided in the East Riding due to prudent financial management and finding innovative and value for money ways of working.

They say the main themes of the strategy are continuity and change, with the authority aiming to continue to keep the best of what it currently offers, but also identifying changes needed to ensure that they continue to meet expectations.

Councillor Richard Burton, Cabinet portfolio holder for civic wellbeing and culture, said: “The council has and continues to explore innovative ways of working that benefit our residents by providing both a first-class service and value for money.

“In the years to come, a successful library service will be one that is flexible, resilient and responsive. We will work hard to ensure that our libraries continue to be much loved and used by our residents, both now and in the future. The council has done an effective job of lowering costs while improving services and will continue to take this approach in the years ahead.”

Over the past few years, the council has committed funding to refurbish a number of libraries across the East Riding.

Beverley Library has recently improved access to materials for library users who are caring for someone with a disability.

Collections include books and other materials about disabilities, such as dyslexia, and can be sent to the library users’ nearest service point for collection. The collections are also available to view in Beverley Library or on online library catalogue on the council’s website.

Beverley Library user Helen Caldwell said; “We have used materials from the disability collections held at Beverley Library before. Our eldest son has autism and ADHD and we consulted books on how to explain disabilities to younger children so that we could explain his condition to his younger brother.

For further information about East Riding library services visit www.eastriding.gov.uk/leisure/libraries.