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Issue 321 – Library opening hours slashed

FROM October, Frome Library will see a reduction of around 20% in its opening hours.

The library is currently open Monday-Saturday, but with a 20% reduction the library will lose the equivalent of around one day a week. However, it is not yet known how these reductions will be implemented. Somerset County Council has promised a consultation with library users, local communities and parish/ town councils to establish the most appropriate pattern of opening hours.
The plans were agreed by full council on the 16th February in order to reduce the county’s library service’s budget by 25%. Other measures include increasing charges for some library services from April, and members of the public will also be asked to make voluntary donations to help fund the library service.
As the plans were agreed, people in Frome of all ages have been showing how much they love their library with a display in the library windows. Library users have been writing their comments about the library on hearts, which have been posted in the window.
It is expected that self service units will be introduced to Frome library in 2012. 24/7 library services will continue: these include online registration, access to the catalogue and to electronic materials including e-audio books, renewal of loans, requests and enquiry service, all accessed at libraries.
The number of mobile libraries in the county will also be reduced from six to two. However, spending on books will be increased with the book fund increased from £200,000 to £400,000 by 2012/2013.
Comments that Frome library users have left saying why they love Frome Library include the following:-
“The library is the Heart of Frome”
“Virtual access is all well and good but the real value is in the physical library”
“Huge range of services and ever helpful staff”
“I love the library because it has given me a lifetime of knowledge and fun! thank you”
“Frome Library – Most welcoming and helpful library I’ve ever visited”
“Because I like books so much! (aged 4).”

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