UTTOXETER library is set to see focus move to online content, as community chiefs have reported a general decline in people visiting the library to borrow books during the past few years.
Staffordshire County Council are currently consulting the community for their views on how the library service should improve to meet visitor needs and have reported an increase in usage of kindles and e-readers and less people visiting the library to borrow books.
When asked whether there was any chance Uttoxeter library would close down as a result of a bigger focus online, a spokesman for county council said they were currently consulting on how best to make sure the library service meets the changing needs of local people and the wider community.
The spokesman said: “We are examining every aspect of the service to find out how it is used and how its use is changing, which is why we talked to the public, partners and the wider communities to find out their views.
“Less and less people are borrowing books, and this is because information is so widely available online, people used to come to the library to research from books whereas now the majority is available online.
“We are now looking at what people have told us and will then use that to develop proposals for the future of the service – which will be subject to consultation.
“Those proposals are scheduled to come before cabinet in June who will be asked to launch that consultation and at that point we will be able to talk about what the future service will look like.”
Councillor Mike Lawrence, cabinet member for children, community and localism at Staffordshire County Council, said: “Staffordshire County Council’s libraries conversation is about working with local people to make sure that our service mirrors the changing way that people live and is fit for the future.
“We have been finding out what people think about their library service and what they want from it in the future, and have had a fantastic response.
“Our library service has changed enormously in recent years.
“Just consider the impact of the internet on the way we access information or socialise.
“Fewer people are visiting libraries and fewer books are being borrowed, but at the same time libraries have become increasingly popular places for meetings and activities.
“Across the entire council we also need to look at whether we are spending every penny of taxpayers’ money as well as we can and on the things that people really want.
“For all these reasons the library service needs to keep changing and we want local people and library users to be involved in this evolution.
“I’d like to thank everybody who has taken part in the conversation.
“We will be taking what they have told us on board and using their views to develop proposals for the future of the service, before we consult on them with local people once again this summer.”