Have your say on ESCC libraries

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Rye Library, not just yet the victim of council cuts

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) are asking for your views on their draft five year strategy for the county’s libraries.

Libraries in East Sussex are a popular service with almost 1.5 million visits during 2016/17. However, the number of visits, and the number of items issued in libraries, have both reduced by around 40% over the past ten years. By comparison, the number of items borrowed online has risen.

Therefore the Council’s plan is to focus on an enhanced eLibrary service by continuing to expand the range of online services and materials they offer. As well as accessing materials online, the eLibrary allows people to manage their library loans anywhere and anytime using the “click and collect” approach.

As reported in Rye News, the Council is proposing the closure of seven libraries in the county, reducing the number to 17, and closing the mobile library service. While Rye library is not under threat from closure, the mobile library services that serves communities in places such as Tilling Green, Camber, Playden and Peasmarsh may be axed. In addition ESCC is proposing to stop providing a supply of books for the Northiam Village library.

The consultation is open until December 14. You can read more and respond to the proposals on the ESCC website, by email at library.consultation@eastsussex.gov.uk or by phone on 01273 335165 and 01273 335397.

We would be keen to hear your views as well.

 

 

 

Photo: Rye News library

1 COMMENT

  1. There is nothing wrong with reviewing the ELibrary service. But the features mentioned in the story, the ability to renew and order books, though undoubtedly useful (I use them a lot), ultimate require people to go to a physical library where they can return their books and pick up the ones they have requested. If those don’t exist, how does an expanded ELibrary help? Are the books get into our hands? Will they be posted to us?

    Also any ELibrary services misses one of the points of physical libraries. If you know what you are looking for then it is great to be able to go and request it online. But it is also wonderful to be able to browse and find books you didn’t know about. Rye library is very good at this. As well as a constant display of new titles, it usually has some other selection available, perhaps around a historical event, like the Russian revolution, or referring to something on TV or at the movies. Or if a prominent author dies for instance, Rye library will normally have a display of their books out almost immediately. This helps introduce readers to new titles and authors that we didn’t know about before.

    Seana Lanigan

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