New website launched as part of library consultation process

An interactive website to allow the people of Bristol to put forward their ideas for the future of the library service in the city went live on 20th November.

Earlier this month the council launched the Bristol Future Libraries consultation to help shape the way our libraries will look moving forward. This new website www.bristol.gov.uk/libraryideas will capture ideas from the public, and allow people to work collaboratively to develop and rate suggestions.

We really want and need everyone to get involved with the consultation process and share their suggestions on how to develop an improved flexible, modern space for communities to learn and socialise in.

Councillor Gus Hoyt, Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods, said: “I am delighted that we have already had a great response to our survey. People from across the city are telling us how they would like to see the library service develop. “This new website aims to stimulate further discussion and generate real ideas to help us provide the library service that Bristol wants and needs. Bristol is leading the way consulting with the public to find ideas that will lead to a collaboration between the council and citizens. The more the better!

“Of course not everyone has access to the internet. In your local library and Neighbourhood Forums and Partnership meetings there are suggestion postcards available for all to use. “I would encourage everyone to get involved and participate in this consultation. No matter how off the wall, all ideas are very welcome.

The new website will work alongside the consultation website, www.bristolfuturelibraries.co.uk, which includes a survey to allow members of the public to express their views on the current library service, as well as gather suggestions for what they would like to see in the future and what they need in a library service.

There are also meetings being held at libraries and Neighbourhood Forums and Partnerships throughout the city.

At this stage we have no proposals and no decisions have been made. We want to involve all the citizens of Bristol in designing a new library service While savings have to be made, it is important that this opportunity to have a conversation as a city is not only dominated by the budget reduction. We need to have a conversation which helps us realise what our communities want and need from libraries and spot opportunities with partners and communities for developing new approaches.

The feedback gathered from this consultation will be used to shape the council’s Bristol Libraries for the Future proposals which are earmarked to be discussed at Cabinet in March 2015, when a second consultation will begin until May 2015.

The final plan is expected to be agreed in June 2015 so that work can then start on our new service.

� Under the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act, all councils must provide a library service. However there is no precise definition of the Act or explanation of the standard expected other than it must be “efficient and comprehensive”

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