Stay connected

Issue 317 – Frome could become a flagship library

FROME library could receive full funding from Somerset County Council, along with 14 other libraries in the county, due to a new proposal put forward for the council’s cabinet meeting in February.
The proposals include investment in self-service technology, more money spent on new books, and an enhanced library service to the housebound.

The proposals have been drawn up as Somerset County Council, facing a big reduction in the money it receives from the government, looks to make £75million in savings over the next three years. All areas of council services are being looked at and the new- look service would mean a 25 per cent saving on the current library service budget of £5.4 million.
Twenty other libraries, not including Frome, would be offered to the community to run without the county council, who say they are hopeful that many of these would succeed. In these cases the council would offer advice and coordination, and may be able to support some IT costs.
A spokesperson for Somerset County Council said, “Frome will be one of six hub libraries in the county, attractive, flexible and accessible flagships that will host customer facing services other than those relating to core library provision.
“The hub libraries are the busiest in the county and we want to base them firmly in the community, making the hubs customer focused, offering advice and learning services while expanding the current services.
“There will inevitably be some measure of refurbishment as part of the process of installing self-service technology. The funding is not due to increase and the self-service is designed to reduce costs.”
Councillor Christine Law-rence, cabinet member with responsibility for community services said, “These proposals would create a library service that is fit to face the future, making use of new technology and with the potential to work closely with local communities.
“These are extremely difficult financial times and, unfortunately, tough decisions have to be made in all areas of council business, from roads to recycling and including libraries.”

Full details can be found at along with an online survey for people to give their views. This information is also available at the county’s 34 libraries and six mobile libraries.
The proposal will go to cabinet next month.