Launch of the New Library Service

Love librariesSwindon Borough Council has adopted a new Libraries Strategy and there will be changes to the service taking place from the 5th April 2017.

Core Libraries
Swindon’s core libraries of Central, West Swindon, Highworth, Park and North Swindon will be moving to new staffed hours from 5 April.  The Borough Council is funding staffed hours of 47.5 hours a week for Central and 15 hours per week elsewhere in the network.  Parish Councils in West Swindon, North Swindon, Highworth and Central Swindon South have supplemented these hours with additional funding, so the staffed hours will be as follows:

                                        *These times are subject to formal agreement.

Please note: Until the introduction of technology enabled extended opening the Central Library will maintain express hours from; 8am-10am and 5:30pm-8pm Monday to Friday, 8am-10am and 4pm -7pm Saturday and 9am-11am and 3pm-5pm on Sundays.

The council is keen to ensure the core libraries remain fully accessible to library users.  To achieve this the council is procuring state of the art technology to enable the libraries to be accessed outside of staffed hours.  This will be installed in a phased way across the 5 libraries from April.  Once installed, the core libraries will be accessible from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am – 7pm Saturday and 9am to 5pm on Sunday.  Library members will need to register to use self-serve access and training will be provided.  More details on this will be provided via the council’s website.

Community Libraries
Swindon Borough Council will also maintain the non-core libraries of Covingham, Even Swindon, Liden, Moredon, Old Town, Penhill, Pinehurst, Upper Stratton, and Wroughton libraries, staffed for 15 hours each a week until the end of August 2017.

From 5 April, the staffed hours for these libraries will be as follows:

The Council is supporting the development of community-led Library services in these Libraries to secure local access to Library services after 31st August 2017.   The Council is currently working with community organisations on their development of business plans ahead of the submission deadline of 31 March, and further news about that work will be known in April.

Temporary Closures

In order to prepare for the changes there will be a number of temporary closures  to prepare for the introduction of the new opening times, staff training and stock relocation.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Regular Activities
In light of the changes to staffed and opening hours, some regular activities that take place in our libraries such as the very popular Story and Rhyme times may be disrupted.   We understand how important and valuable these services are and will endeavour to reschedule these where possible and will publicise and update Library users as alternative arrangements are made.  From the beginning of April 2017 please check with your local libraries directly to see what activities will be running.

New Charges
As of 5th April we will be increasing some current charges and introducing charges for some services that have been free until now.

•    Book reservations will cost £1 whether placed online or by staff.

•    Fines will increase to 30p per day per adult book and 15p per day per book for children’s books though there’s still no fines on the under 5’s card.

•    DVD rentals will increase to £2.50

•    A charge is also being introduced for members of Readers Groups that source their books through us which will be £10 and which will cover the cost of 10 requested books over the course of a year.

•    A full list of fees and charges can be found on our website.

Swindon Libraries are looking for volunteers to get involved in a variety of activities. There is something for everyone, whatever your interest and whatever time you have available. By volunteering you can develop your skills, meet new people and contribute to your local community. We have a range of roles available at various times throughout the year, including IT, Gardening, Storytime, Duke of Edinburgh and Events volunteers.

Further details can be found on our website: Volunteer to Help Your Library

The background to the strategy, the details of the consultation and the needs assessment that was undertaken as part of the development of the new strategy can be found on the SBC website: Libraries and Community assets