Issue - decisions
The Executive Member considered a report which detailed how the Explore Vision would be extended across all of the library service.
In response to comments from Councillor Crisp and the Unison representative, the Executive Member was informed that staff consultation on the new model for the city’s libraries began in the New Year and that this was done in a variety of ways reflecting the complexity of communicating with staff spread over 14 locations and 2 vehicles across the city. They also spoke about how staff views had influenced the production of the proposals for example the proposal to continue circulation of stock between libraries.
Officers stressed that approval of the vision and the model would represent the start of a process of consultation and engagement with communities about how their local library should reflect their needs. This would cover all issues such as: stock, activities that take place at the library, and opening hours.
In relation to comments raised about accessibility issues at Rowntree Park café, officers responded that as part of the Heritage Lottery funded restoration project some of the steps had been removed and the ramp regraded to create an alternative access route to the café.
The Executive Member noted that the libraries in the city had experienced a radical transformation over previous years and that the first Explore Centres in Acomb and New Earswick had seen their visitor figures double. He also stated that other Authorities had noted the success of the Explore centres in the city and how this was sustainable when across the country libraries were being closed. The Executive Member underlined that the current proposals actually increased the number of libraries in the city, and believed that this could set a trend nationally for library provision.
RESOLVED: (i) That the report be noted.
(ii) That the implementation of the innovative Explore Gateway model be agreed.
(iii)That the precise model for each Gateway to be developed as outlined in paragraphs 21-22 of the report.
(iv) That the EIA (Equality Impact Assessment) be updated to consider the affect on staff and customers.
(v) That the book stock in each Gateway is be developed in consultation with staff and the community.
(vi) That the proposed extension to Rowntree Park Café be agreed.
REASON: So that the library service can continue to develop its Explore vision.