Libraries ambition plan

A four year plan has been set out to ensure Blackpool’s libraries play a more relevant role in residents’ lives.

It is hoped the shake-up, called Books and Beyond, will improve overall literacy skills and give children better preparation for starting school.
Other priorities include providing more access to computers for people who do not have home internet facilities, and reaching out to those who rarely use libraries at the moment.
Coun Gillian Campbell, libraries portfolio holder, said the plan was “a means of ensuring that Blackpool libraries remain relevant and accessible to readers and residents of all ages.”
She added: “It is important that the service actively responds to the present and changing needs of local people, and this plan provides the strong foundation for that to happen.”
Key elements are

Improved levels of school readiness in particular around speech and language.

Encouraging more people to read through active use of libraries.
Helping more residents to take part in digital activities and education courses.
Stronger links between libraries and communities.

It is hoped to achieve this through an enhanced programme of library activities, and by improving connections with schools with an ambition to ensure every primary school pupil in the town is a library member.
Other proposals include setting up more adult reading groups and creating co-working environments in libraries for use by freelancers or start-up businesses.
Following the scrapping of library fines in April 2019, fees to reserve books could also be axed, while there is also the possibility of providing mobile ‘pop up’ libraries to go out into the community.
It would cost the council an additional £97,000 on top of the current libraries budget of £1.8m a year to introduce the improvements set out in the plan.
But it is hoped this would be offset by the benefits to residents’ wellbeing taking pressure off other services.
A report to councillors says just over a quarter (28 per cent) of people have used Blackpool’s libraries in the past three years, but there has been a “major lack of direction” for the service.
It adds: “Capacity, consistency and operational culture issues have all
been identified as limiting potential.”

More from Local

  • Ghost walks are back!

    Blackpool Ghost Walks is back to celebrate its 10th Anniversary with more tales of terror, horrifying hauntings and ghostly goings-on!

  • NO to arcade company

    The operators of a national slots machine company have suffered their second blow in less than two weeks after Blackpool Council refused planning permission for an arcade in the town centre.

  • Blackpool man arrested as part of Operation Venetic

    A Blackpool man has been arrested as part of Lancashire Constabulary’s work on Operation Venetic – the UK law enforcement’s takedown of a bespoke encrypted global communication service used exclusively by criminals.

Cover art for Best Of My Love

On Air

Max Mallen playing Emotions - Best Of My Love