Plans put forward for longer library hours in East Lancashire

First published in News

AVID readers and computer buffs in East Lancashire are being asked if they would like more libraries to open longer.

Around half the county’s libraries increased their opening hours by an additional 30 minutes, at the start of the day from October 1.

This included several of principal locations, such as Accrington, Burnley Central, Chorley, Clitheroe, Colne, Nelson, Padiham and Rawtenstall.

Town and village libraries in Bacup, Brierfield, Clayton-le-Moors, Earby, Great Harwood, Rishton, Whalley and Whitworth also benefitted.

And now, with plans in the pipeline to apply the same extension to a number of further locations, a wide-ranging survey has been unveiled by the county’s library service.

Other sites set to be included in the next round are Barnoldswick, Briercliffe, Chatburn, Mellor, Burnley Pike Hill, Read and Trawden.

Julie Bell, the county library manager, said: “As a result of feedback from users, staff and local communities, 48 of our libraries now open half-an-hour earlier in the mornings and at no extra cost.

“We’re now looking at whether library users may benefit from similar changes at more of our branches. For most of these branches, this would mean slightly longer opening hours.

However, there may be a few libraries where extending opening hours isn't an option.

“Where that's the case, we propose to keep the same overall number of opening hours, but amend them to times when people tell us they are most likely to use the library.”

The additional time has been secured at no extra cost to the library budget.

Hard copies of the survey, which runs from today until January 5, are available in libraries and it can also be filled in online at lancashire.gov.uk/libraries.

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