The future of Hackney Libraries and Archives will be discussed at a drop-in session at Stamford Hill Library this Thursday, 23 June.

The session is part of ongoing consultation with residents, library staff and library users about the service, and take places between 2-4pm on Thursday 23 June at Stamford Hill Library, Portland Avenue N16 6SB.

Residents can also find out more about the consultation on Hackney Council’s website.

The council says it is keeping all eight of its libraries open and wants to hear what local people, whether they use libraries or not, think of the plans for the future, as set out in its Library and Archives Development Strategy 2011 – 2015.

It says it will continue to offer some of the longest library opening hours in the country, but is proposing to make some changes to the opening hours across all libraries in the borough.

The proposals envisage the greatest number of hours being provided at the most popular facilities. Overall the opening hours in total will remain the same, but some libraries will open later. For example, Dalston CLR James Library and Hackney Archives will open two hours earlier from Monday to Friday.

The council is also proposing to concentrate a reduced number of events and activities at the three main libraries: Dalston CLR James, Hackney Central and Stoke Newington. These events will be organised by trained library staff. Events for children will continue to be held at all libraries

The council is also looking for people who would be willing to offer time as a volunteer at one of the Hackney libraries, citing Woodberry Down library as an excellent example of a community-run library, staffed by volunteers since it opened in 2007.

Residents’ views on the proposals will help shape the future of the service at Hackney libraries. Once the consultation has closed we will analyse all the responses received. We will make the consultation findings available and publish our final proposals over the summer.

Councillor Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Community Services said: “Hackney Council is keeping all its eight libraries open so everyone in the borough will still live within one mile of a library.

“In the last year, for the first time ever, there have been more than one and a half million visits to Hackney’s libraries, and membership is increasing too. We want these figures to keep rising, so the council is working to ensure we have modern libraries, giving people what they want while keeping costs down. If you have something to say about our proposals or you have ideas about what you want from your local library then we want to hear it.”

How you can have your say

To have your say on the proposals you can complete the online survey available on Hackney Council’s website.

Alternatively, you can send your written views to Freepost LON 18819, Consultation Team, London Borough of Hackney.

Or email consultation@hackney.gov.uk (please include Library and Archives Development Strategy in the subject line).

Please return the completed questionnaire or send your written views to the council by 27 June 2011.

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