Still time to have your say on library services

Civic Offices
Civic Offices

Milton Keynes residents are being reminded that they still have a chance to play their part in the important re-shaping and evolution of library services in the borough.

A successful series of public meetings on the Review of Library Services in Milton Keynes, which started in October, recently concluded.

In total 15 meetings were held across the borough, bringing together many residents who expressed views on the local library service. Ideas discussed have included the use of ‘e-books’ and the proposed acceleration of WiFi services to all libraries.

The Citizen Review Group, formed earlier last year, was reconvened to receive their comment on the review findings and to hear their views on future library provision in Milton Keynes.

Responses received to the consultation, as well as comments from local residents, and the council’s Partnership and Growth Select Committee will be used to finalise the Future Libraries – Milton Keynes report.

But the 12-week formal consultation doesn’t finish until midnight Thursday, January 12.

So this is the final opportunity for people to comment on the review findings and future plan. All the documents are available on the Council’s Consultation Finder at: click together with the online comment form. The final review report and proposed way forward is to be considered by Cabinet on February 28.

The consultation sets out changes to the way the library service currently works, to balance the need to find savings while still continuing to providing an excellent service.

A lot of interesting ideas have been raised at the public consultation sessions together with valuable feedback about the current service and future proposals. Many people have talked about e-books and there has been considerable public pressure to accelerate the proposed extension of WiFi to all libraries.

Paul Sanders, Assistant Director for Community Facilities at Milton Keynes Council, said: “We have received the same overwhelming message at all the public sessions that public libraries in the borough are valued highly and that the service provided by library staff is judged to be of the highest quality.

“Many people have expressed the view that libraries are one of the public services that people think of as “theirs” and are perceived to be specially important for groups such as children, older people and those on low incomes.

“Our proposals aim to ensure that this level of service is maintained in future years, given the likelihood of reducing funding. The service clearly requires investment and it is our duty to examine all potential sources in the interests of the service. Future Libraries – Milton Keynes draft report sets out our proposals and we are very keen to hear people’s views on these.”