How many hours is your library going to have cut? Here are the details

humanities-libraryIf you haven’t heard already, there’s a consultation just got underway on proposed cuts to the opening hours of libraries in Leeds.

All 36 libraries run by Leeds City Council are affected.

Under the proposals, 17% of the total hours will be cut in an effort to make staff savings agreed when the council set its budget in February.

The savings were initially set at £100,000.

Some libraries will be hit harder than others: Gildersome, for example, will lose nearly half (48%) of its opening hours, while Moor Allerton will lose just 3%.

You can have your say here.

consultationHere’s how the consultation works: you aren’t asked whether you agree with the cuts, just how you’d like them to be implemented.

You’re given two options, Option A offering different opening days and times to Option B. Either way you’re losing the same number of opening hours in nearly every instance.

There’s a space for you to make suggestions or comments.

I couldn’t find a list of how the cuts will affect each library, so here’s one I’ve put together.

(Methley library doesn’t appear in the consultation documents. Either a clerical error or it may be for the chop)



What’s the rationale for how the cuts have been targeted? Well, they’ve carried out a library by library analysis to identify when the quietest hours are.

“We believe that not opening during the quietest times will provide significant savings whilst minimising the impact on customers – approximately 97.7% of book borrowers and computer users have used their own library or another library at times which would not be affected by this review,” they say.

As often happens with decisions like this, the data collected in the review hasn’t been made public.

We can save our libraries Phil Bradley

Campaign in west Leeds

One of the things they’ll have borne in mind too, one imagines, is how many people have been using each library since the 2011 reorganisation in the city, which saw 13 libraries axed.

So, there’s another list below showing how each library performed in the first two years since the reorganisation (taken from Leeds Data Mill). They’ll have figures for 2013-14 at their disposal, but they haven’t been published yet.

A couple of observations: a library like Yeadon that lost 18% of its visitors in 2012-13 is having 7% of its hours cut, while Dewsbury Rd, which saw a 9% increase in visitors in the same period is facing a 27% cut in its hours.

You have to ask yourself what future there can be for a library like Scholes, which had only 93 visitors a week in 2012-13, and is now facing a 47% cut in its opening hours (down from 15 to 8 per week).

There’s a campaign to fight the cuts already under way in west Leeds, backed by local MP Rachel Reeves.

I haven’t heard of anything similar happening elsewhere. Let me know if you hear if there is, please.

Here’s the list. The figures in red represent a fall in visitors (“pw” means per week).






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2 Responses to How many hours is your library going to have cut? Here are the details

  1. Bradford proposed closing Denholme library (bless ’em). Community took over – now have longer opening hours, all voluntary, ‘our library’ stuff.

  2. Pingback: Middleton, Dewsbury Road, Hunslet and Beeston libraries may have hours cut | South Leeds Life

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