Extended opening hours and the creation of a single information hub are just two of the benefits for St Ives residents when responsibility for running their local library transfers from Cornwall Council to St Ives Town Council.
After months of planning and development work, the transfer process is nearly complete, with just the final few issues left to resolve.
It is hoped that by liaising with local residents, schools and groups, the library will be able to develop to meet the needs of the local community even more effectively than it does now. The Town Council aims not only to continue to serve the people who use the library now, but also to broaden its appeal to local people who rarely or never visit it.
As well as taking over the running of the library, the town council is also planning to move the town’s Visitor Information Centre into the building – a step which will mean that the library will be open more often. The move will create a hub which residents and visitors alike can visit and get the information they need.
Chairman of the town council’s Finance & General Purposes Committee, Councillor Richard Glanville says that many months of hard work are about to come to fruition.
“We now have strong foundations in place and can now confidently take the library into local ownership, run by the town council for the benefit of the local community. Although it’s taken longer to reach agreement on the transfer than we would have liked, we are now in a position to start planning for an exciting future that we want the whole community to share in.”
Town Mayor, Councillor Suzanne Tanner expressed her excitement at being part of the drive to bring the library under town council ownership.
“St Ives Library is already valued and much-loved by many and we’re sure that with the support of the local community behind us, the library will grow from strength to strength into the future.”
Councillor Edwina Hannaford is Cornwall Council Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, and has led the way on the devolution programme.
She said: “St Ives is the latest of our libraries to transfer to local ownership, and I am sure it will also see the benefits that such a change can provide.
Our libraries are evolving to meet the needs of our local communities, and the service they offer is getting better all the time, because, to put it simply, what could be better than local people running local services for the benefit of the local community?”