Changes to library opening hours up for debate

BERWICKSHIRE residents are being asked for their opinion on proposals which will change library opening hours in Coldstream and Duns.

Following the approval of the integration of a number of libraries and contact centres in the Borders, the council is seeking public opinion on the proposals.

After initial consultation with council staff, users and the wider public, plans have been submitted to reflect the range of feedback received and are intended to provide a suitable degree of accessibility across the week.

The proposals are: more late afternoon openings, to allow school children access immediately after school; some lunchtime openings to allow customers access during their lunch breaks; some Saturday morning openings, to give access to library and contact centre services over the weekend.

Duns library is currently open for 34 hours a week and the contact centre for 38.5, but under the new proposals the combined service will be open to the public for 33 hours a week from: 10am-5pm on Monday; 1-7pm on Tuesday; 10am-2pm on Wednesday; 10am-5pm on Thursday; 10am-4pm on Friday and 9.30am-12.30pm on Saturday. The new integrated service at Coldstream will be open for a total of 12 hours a week: Mondays from 4pm-7pm; Tuesdays from 2pm-5pm; closed on Wednesdays; Thursdays from 10am-12pm; Fridays from 12pm-4pm and Saturdays- 9.30am-12.30pm.

Councillor Graham Garvie, the executive member for culture, sport and community learning, explained: “We know that both customer expectations and the role of our libraries are changing. Recognising that times are tough, and that there are improved technologies and ways of working, we need to do what we can to provide a secure future for the services that people want to access.

“With people leading increasingly busy lives, access to these services at the most appropriate times for our residents is more important than ever. I hope people will let us know what they think so we can ensure the most appropriate opening hours are implemented to reflect public demand.”

Details of all these proposals are available in the Libraries and Contact Centres of the affected towns as well as on the Council website at www.scotborders.gov.uk/directory/54/consultations/category/306/categoryInfo/34.