A consultation has launched today (Tuesday 28 May 2024) for people to have their say on plans to transform the local library services in Nottingham.

Nottingham City Council must make significant financial savings across its services, with Nottingham City Libraries needing to save £1.5m over the next 2 years. This amounts to just over 38% of the library services existing budget.

The proposal would see a reduction in the number of libraries from 15 to 11. This would mean the closure of four libraries which have been identified as Aspley, Basford, Bilborough, and Radford-Lenton.

The proposal also includes reducing opening hours across the network, putting forward staff reductions and trimming the budget for books, IT and operating costs. The measures proposed are projected to save £1.5m, allowing the Council to deliver a sustainable library service that will still offer:

  • 11 libraries, 10 of which are open 5 days a week
  • Commitment to retaining libraries in joint service centres
  • Activities and events across the network and online
  • Book loans, e-books, audio books, e-magazines and newspapers
  • Free Wi-Fi and computer access across the network
  • Skilled and specialist staff available to help
  • Welcoming, safe, warm spaces accessible to all
  • Study space across the network
  • Brand new modern, bright Central and Sherwood Libraries (Sherwood planned opening Summer 2024)
  • Home Library Service
  • Bookstart Offer
  • Nottingham Performing Arts Library

Now a 12-week consultation has been launched for people to have their say on the proposal for change.

Colin Wilderspin, Interim Director of Communities, said: “Reshaping our library services and saving £1.5m is a daunting and challenging task, one that demands not just belt-tightening, but a reimagining of how library services are delivered to the residents of Nottingham. Regrettably this does mean the need to consider the closure of some libraries, which I know will be disappointing to users of the library services. “We have a legal* duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all those who live, work or study in the city. We want to invite residents and partners to contribute to our consultation. If you believe you have an alternative plan for delivering efficient, comprehensive library services within our budget constraint, then we want to hear from you, we want your ideas and opinions. I would reiterate that NO decisions have been made, and your input from this consultation will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Nottingham’s libraries”

Alongside the proposed restructuring, ambitious long-term goals are set to transform and enhance library services. These include fostering partnerships, building a robust volunteer network, expanding the digital offer, and exploring technology-enabled solutions for increased accessibility.

Your Voice Matters: Join the Conversation

As the consultation period kicks off, every opinion counts. No decision has been made, but the council want to get your input and ideas. Over the next 12 weeks, the council will be engaging with organisations, networks and the public to make sure your voices are heard, and you contribute to any final plans.

The consultation will run from 28th May to 19th August.

There will be three public consultation events for people to attend.

You can find out more information, consultation event dates and fill in the consultation here. www.nottinghamcitylibraries.co.uk/shape-the-vision

*(Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964).