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Stone library future secure in new plans

Stone library will continue to be run by the county council under new proposals for the future of the library service.

Staffordshire County Council has unveiled its detailed proposals for the library service, with a consultation on its plans set to launch on 7th July.

Twenty-four libraries in the county could be run by local communities under the plans, with the county withdrawing from management and staffing. Stone library isn’t one of them and services would continue to be provided at the Market Square library by the county council, with the potential for other public sector partners to use the space and with “opportunities to be more flexible” to the needs of the Stone community.

The county wants to introduce different tiers of library in what it says are proposals to “meet shifting demand and safeguard the service for the future”.

Library Extra – at Burton, Tamworth, Lichfield and Newcastle

Library Core – at STONE, Cannock, Rugeley, Uttoxeter, Burntwood, Biddulph, Cheadle, Leek, Clayton, Kidsgrove, Codsall, Perton, Wombourne, Eccleshall and Stafford

Library Local – at the county’s other 24 libraries.

Their plans would also see extra investment in online services.

Stone county councillor and town council leader Philip Jones said today that the proposals mean Stone library can “continue unaffected by any necessary changes elsewhere”, adding: “Obviously I am very pleased with this and I would like to see even more use made of our excellent library by community groups, schools etc. The library staff are always open to suggestions.”

The more detailed suggestions follow an initial consultation with library users, staff and interested groups across the county. The proposals also include investment in the online offering to improve the service’s usability, look and feel, and compatibility with more electronic devices.

The county’s cabinet member responsible for libraries, Mike Lawrence, will ask Cabinet next week for approval for a 12-week consultation on the future of the county library service. The consultation is set to start on 7th July.

There is lots more information about the county’s proposals HERE

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