This section describes the East Riding’s library service and multi service centre provision.
Our vision is to deliver a high-quality, modern library service and multi service centres which meet the challenges of a mainly rural area at a lower net cost and meet the needs of both present and future customers.
The council delivers the library service using a variety of methods:
There are 16 branch libraries across the East Riding providing access to books and learning materials, computers, printers, photocopiers, study space and a range of activities run by library staff and local community groups.
The council has opened a number of multi service centres, which bring a range of services and information together in one building. There are currently 7 multi service centres in the East Riding.
The mobile libraries deliver a service in areas where no branch library exists.
The ‘At Home’ service provides access to books and information for people whose mobility is restricted due to age, disability or illness.
In addition to the more ‘traditional’ services, our libraries and multi service centres also deliver a wide variety of other services and social opportunities.
They provide a community space where people can meet to pursue shared interests and to support each other. They have a strong focus on health and wellbeing, offering support to those living with dementia (both carers and patients).
This includes ‘Reminiscence’ sessions, Digital Reminiscence Units and reading lists recommended by health professionals. In addition reading, writing and social groups within libraries all have positive health and wellbeing benefits.
Each year, children from disadvantaged families who are at a higher risk of low attainment levels, are invited to take part in the national Summer Reading Challenge. This is a fun way to improve reading skills in a supportive library setting. The library service delivers benefits where they will make a real difference, helping to support vulnerable people and reduce inequalities.
Free computers in libraries allow people to further their hobbies, do online training courses, look for employment, fill in online applications and produce professional CVs and presentations. They also allow individuals to make their money go further by, for example, applying for better online fuel rates. In addition, as the government’s welfare reforms roll out, the computers will also be needed for benefit information and claims.
The library service is staffed by a mix of professional librarians, supervisors, library assistants and mobile library vehicle drivers. In addition, volunteers help the service to deliver specific programmes such as the Summer Reading Challenge.
In 2016/17, the library service has an overall budget of £3.578m. In addition, the overall budget for the current multi service centres is £1.69m.
Councils across the the country have closed branch libraries; withdrawn mobile library services; introduced volunteer run libraries; library trusts; outsourced libraries and unstaffed libraries.
Research has shown that in the last six years:
The delivery of customer-facing services through one-stop shops and customer service centres is also a changing landscape nationally across local authorities.
Changing customer expectations in the digital age reflected across the private sector with huge growth in online shopping, banking, social networking and ownership of mobile technologies are radically changing how and when people want to find information and complete transactions. Increasingly local government is expected to provide the same level of convenience and access 24/7 through online facilities. Whilst the benefits of online activity can support significant reduction in costs for local government, it also meets the growing demand preference for online transactions and access to information at the first point of contact.
This approach is demonstrated in the changing delivery of traditional methods of local government customer services including:
The Public Libraries and Museums Act (1964) states that, ‘it shall be the duty of every library authority to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons desiring to make use thereof’.
Our proposal comfortably meets our legal obligations.