20 Nov Library service available online 24/7 could be introduced in Essex
A vision of a library service available on-line 24-7 to fit with people’s lives in Essex is to be considered by the County Council.
Residents will be asked for their say in a major consultation on the plans, which will be considered by the Council’s Cabinet next week.
Traditional library use in Essex has collapsed in the last ten years.
There are 31% fewer people using Essex libraries now than there were in 2008 – over 100,000 less users – and loans of books and other items are down by 52%.
At the same time, use of the e-library service, including e-book loans and online reservations, has more than doubled since 2013.
Essex has the second-highest number of libraries in the UK and is in the top-five counties nationally for spending on libraries – but with increasing costs and declining usage, especially at some smaller libraries, the service is no longer viable in its current form.