County unveils library ‘models’

A FUTURE model for library services in Suffolk is to be discussed by county councillors this month.

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet has been recommended to support a structure which would see libraries transferred into a central organisation.

There would then be an evaluation to decide which model would be the best value for money.

The proposed models include an in-house county council business unit, an external but wholly authority owned company or enterprise and an independent company or enterprise managed by the council through contractual arrangements.

Whichever model is selected would manage the libraries budget and support services such as the countywide book network, employing staff and training.

Meanwhile, the council will work on several partnership pilots with town and parish councils as well as community and staff groups, who want to run a library.

The recommendation follows a four-month consultation in which 5,000 people expressed their views.

At the meeting, on July 19, councillors will also be asked to approve a new public consultation on how mobile library services can be restructured.