Sheffield’s library service is set to change next Monday, when volunteer groups will take over the running of 13 branches from Sheffield City Council.

These branches will be staffed by volunteers who will be responsible for managing libraries, fundraising and setting the programme of activities such as story time sessions, homework groups and job clubs.

Members of the public will still be able to borrow all books and resources from the council’s library catalogue, continue to have free use of computers and internet in every branch and use their existing library card.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “I would like to personally thank each and every volunteer for all their hard work, as they take responsibility for running their community libraries from Monday.

“Everyone has put in an incredible amount of work and I’m very pleased to say, thanks to the people of Sheffield, all 28 libraries in our city are staying open.

“The groups have come forward with some great plans for the branches and I’d encourage everyone to visit their local library to see what’s on offer.”

The council is continuing to manage Walkley and Burngreave libraries for an extended time until business plans have been agreed.

The Walkley Community Library Futures Group and Forum Café bars have agreed to develop a joint plan to manage the branch and the council is continuing discussions with regard to Burngreave library. It hopes groups will soon take over both branches as longer term arrangements are agreed.

Broomhill, Frecheville, Gleadless, Stannington and Upperthorpe libraries will all open on Monday, with other branches opening later in the week or the following week, as final preparations are carried out.

Visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraries for more information.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The changes to the library service follow extensive consultation over two years where people told the Council they wanted to maintain as many libraries as they could, even if this meant things being done differently.

The Council will continue to run the Central Lending Library and 11 hub libraries across the city, selected on the basis of needs, location and population. These are: Chapeltown, Crystal Peaks, Darnall, Ecclesall, Firth Park, Highfield, Hillsborough, Manor, Parson Cross, Stocksbridge, and Woodseats. For 65 per cent of registered library users their local library will stay as a Council run resource.

The libraries set to become Co-delivered and Associate libraries are as follows:

  • Co-delivered libraries: Broomhill, Burngreave*, Park, Southey and Woodhouse.
  • Associate libraries: Ecclesfield, Frecheville, Gleadless, Greenhill, Jordanthorpe, Newfield Green, Stannington, Totley, Upperthorpe and Walkley*.

*Subject to an approved business plan.

The Council will continue to fund and staff Tinsley library for 21 hours per week due to financial commitments over the lease of the building, which runs out in 2016.

Co-delivered libraries will be staffed by voluntary groups and the council will maintain the library buildings and associated costs.

Associate libraries will be staffed and maintained by voluntary groups. The council will provide up to £262,000 support per year for up to three years to help these associate libraries get established and make sure they can pay the running costs of the building, such as heating and lighting.

The savings required from library services for 2014/15 and 2015/16 are £1.669 million, after Sheffield City Council has received a 50% cut to its government funding.