There can be no doubt that the face of public library services is changing. Public libraries provide a vital function in local communities and are valued by those who use them whether to borrow a book, find a quiet place to work, access Wi-Fi, meet people and so on. However the way services have to be provided has to change, especially in the light of reducing finance.

Given the scale of the financial challenge, the Milton Keynes Council cannot do this alone. It is seeking more collaborative models for the delivery of library services within localities across the Borough which is very much in keeping with the Council’s status as a Cooperative Council.

“Sharing Responsibilities for Libraries” is an opportunity to look at what may be possible in the future. The communities of Milton Keynes have an exciting opportunity to shape that future and this will only happen through active engagement with all sectors of the community. This document sets out a number of proposed ideas that have been developed so far for both improving the libraries and for delivering savings and efficiencies. A number of these savings proposals build on some very successful relationships with parish and town councils, the voluntary sector as well as local citizens.

They highlight how the use of some of the larger library buildings can be maximised. They also build on best practice from elsewhere in the country. It provides information about how the building and non-core library services could be shared with others so that the Council can focus its financial and staff resources on the core library provision.

Milton Keynes Council are seeking ways in which they can further share responsibilities for library delivery across the Borough and would welcome ideas from library customers, businesses, charities, community groups, ward councillors, parish and town councils and other stakeholders, to enable greater local input and reduced Council resources.

As part of this, the Council will be running a series of Community Engagement sessions to hear your views, ideas and your offers of help, and would encourage anyone who is interested in their local library to come along or to complete the online questionnaire.

Newport Pagnell Library 6-7pm Wednesday 24 June
Olney Library 6-7pm Thursday 25 June
Stony Stratford Library 6-7pm Monday 29 June
Wolverton Library 6-7pm Thursday 2 July
Central Library 6-7pm Monday 6 July
Kingston Library 6-7pm Tuesday 7 July
Woburn Sands 6-7pm Thursday 9 July
Westcroft Library 6-7pm Tuesday 14 July