Has council's library review failed to spark much interest?
Date: 26/09/2012. Story submitted by: Kevin Meagher
The city council’s review of Sheffield's library services has a long way to go in engaging the public, if the results after the first two weeks are anything to go by.
Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that just 418 people filled in a hard copy of the questionnaire ‘Have your say on Sheffield’s library service' during the critical first two weeks of the public consultation which was launched last month.
On average, just 15 people per library completed the questionnaire, which is available at library counters, between August 13 to 29.
However the figures vary across the city. Chapletown Library saw the most responses with 56 people filling-in the forms. Ecclesfield had 42 responses, with Totley coming third with 40. At the city’s main Central Library 25 people had completed the survey.
At the other end of the scale just three people filled in the survey at Hillsborough Library, two people at Upperthorpe and one person at Park Library. No-one at all had filled-in a questionnaire at Burngreave Library, or at the Archive service.
The consultation is designed to reshape the city’s 28 public libraries, making them “fit and affordable for the future” as the council grapples with implementing government spending cuts.
The consultation document explains that this could mean “developing, changing or relocating some services and reducing or closing others”.
The council’s library service has a £6 million budget employing around 260 full-time equivalent roles.
There was more positive news for the council in terms of its online response. Over the same period 2,490 visited the council’s website to fill-in the questionnaire.
The consultation on the future of the city’s libraries finishes at midnight on October 8.
Address: Pinstone Street Sheffield S1 2HH
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