Residents asked views on libraries

Kinsley Library
Kinsley Library

RESIDENTS across the Express area are being asked their views on how they want their libraries to work in future.

Wakefield Council is starting a 12-week consultation on Monday.

It wants residents to fill in a questionnaire detailing what they would like to see change in their nearest branch.

This follows the council’s plans to cut funding across four libraries in the area, and create ‘hubs’ instead.

Hemsworth and South Elmsall libraries will each become a ‘hub’, and remain council-run - although not necessarily in the same buildings.

However, the decision means that Upton, Kinsley, South Kirkby and Havercroft libraries are all at risk of closure if another organisation does not come forward to take them on.

But Kinsley and Fitzwilliam Community Resource Centre has already started making plans to take over Kinsley library, which is joined to their building on Wakefield Road.

And Coun Laurie Harrison hopes to relocate South Kirkby library and offer a better service.

But as yet, there are no firm plans.

The council began the library review after finding more than four out of every ten library users have stopped visiting them since 1992, instead reserving and reading books online due to new technology.

Coun David Dagger, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for libraries, said: “This is an extremely important opportunity to improve and modernise our library service, to give people the service they want, and will use, rather than the service they’ve got at the moment.

“There is no doubt that how people use libraries has changed and it is clear that the service we currently provide is not what people want.

“We have no choice but to do things differently and we must recognise that in planning our service for the future, this about providing library services, not just libraries.”

The consultation period ends Friday, December 2.

Visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/libraryreview to take part in the survey.