Libraries consultation begins

Wirral residents are now being asked to help shape and influence the modernisation of Wirral’s library services after councillors gave the green light to begin a public consultation.

At their last meeting, the Tourism, Communities, Culture and Leisure Committee received an update on the progress of a new Library Strategy which, when finalised, aims to deliver an attractive, relevant, modern and flexible library service for Wirral.

The committee had previously approved the strategy development and any associated consultations at a previous meeting in November 2020. In recent months, the libraries team has been engaging with key internal stakeholders and partner organisations and received some insightful feedback and innovative suggestions.

As part of the development of the strategy, a widespread, inclusive and accessible public consultation and engagement exercise is beginning today, 28 June.

The public consultation kicks off with information and an online questionnaire going live on the Council’s ‘Have Your Say’ website for a period of eight weeks from 28 June – . Paper copies will be made available for those who can’t access the questionnaire online and can be accessed from the four central libraries – Bebington, Birkenhead Central, Wallasey Central and West Kirby.

There will be further engagement with key user groups including friends groups, other partners, stakeholders and any interested parties.

Andy McCartan, Assistant Director – Leisure, Libraries and Customer Engagement, said: “I know how highly Wirral residents value their library service, for a range of different reasons.

“Residents’ involvement in this process is absolutely vital and there is an opportunity through the development of the new strategy for libraries to shape the services provided there into community hub models, that are flexible and receptive to the needs of the communities they serve.”

At their last meeting, committee members agreed a date – provisionally 17 November 2021 – when they will be presented with the final Library Strategy document, which will incorporate the recommendations and outcomes of the public consultation process.

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