Council to explore sustainable models for libraries

Published: 19 June 2023

Two children carrying a stack of books in front of bookshelves

The new administration's vision is to ensure libraries are fit for the future

Derby City Council is to explore new community models as it looks to future-proof library provision in the city 

In March, the Council launched a process to identify viable proposals for ten Council buildings currently used solely as community libraries. 

Now, with the new Labour administration pledging to deliver a sustainable, long-term library service, the process has been paused while the Council considers alternate delivery models. 

It is their intention to create a new model for Derby, based on the proven success of other models delivered in the UK. 

 Councillor Baggy Shanker, Leader of Derby City Council said: 

People are our priority. Libraries are key to connecting our neighbourhoods and delivering localised support – particularly needed given the current cost-of-living crisis – so our vision is ultimately to ensure that they’re fit for the future. 

We believe the previous proposed model offered a short-term fix, and what we need is a sustainable, long-term model - delivered by community organisations, with and for the community. 

We’ve done our research. We know that there are options available here, and officers will explore these, but we believe models similar to Suffolk Libraries – that are thriving over 10 years on – are possible to replicate in Derby. 

Through the initial Expression of Interest (EOI) process, a range of submissions were received, and six local organisations were invited to provide detailed business plans to support their initial suggestions. 

Councillor Shanker continued: 

I’d like to thank all the organisations that submitted proposals, and for their ideas so far. We have informed them of this new development and are keen to continue working with them.  

We hope that people will appreciate that getting it right for the future of our libraries is crucial, and there will be no disruption to library services in the meantime. 

The community library buildings are Allestree, Allenton, Blagreaves, Chaddesden Park, Chellaston, Derwent Community Library, Mackworth, Sinfin, Spondon and Springwood (Oakwood).  

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