TWO local councillors have hit out against the “appalling” opening hours that will come into operation at Frome Library from October.
Earlier this year, Somerset County Council announced that Frome Library will see a reduction of around 20% in its opening hours – an equivalent of around one day a week – following a county-wide review of library services (Frome Times, 3rd March 2011).
Now that the revised hours have been announced, Mendip district councillors Derek Tanswell and Sharon Snook say they are particularly concerned that the library will no longer open on Friday evenings.
Cllr Tanswell said, “The new opening hours clearly fail the people of Frome. The only time for people to visit the library out of hours was 5.00pm to 7.00pm on a Friday evening as the rest of the opening hours are within normal working hours.
“I know Saturday is open, but many people will not access the library as they have to do the weekly shopping or spend time with the family or take care of the weekly business. I will be taking these hours up with cllr Horsfall and cllr Daniell, our Lib Dem county councillors and ask them to see if they can get an extension to reinstate the Friday evening. If it’s funding – and I know that it is, would it not be a good idea for the library to try to diversify by selling tea, coffee and cakes and from the profit reinstate the Friday evening hours?
“I know that the Saturday opening is the most busiest hours, however it would be better to close on Monday and use that 4 hours and add to evening opening so it will appeal to more users. We have lost 9 hours of our usual opening hours and this is simply not good enough for the people of Frome.”
The changes to the opening hours, which will come into effect in October, will see the library close at 1.30pm on Mondays and Thursdays (instead of 5.00pm), and 5.00pm on Fridays (instead of 7.00pm).