Cuts to Reading library service start to bite

16 February 2017

Josh Williams and Rob White outside Palmer Park library

Library users in Reading will see a number of cuts driven changes to the way the service is delivered over the coming months.

Following an extensive service review, a public consultation took place in 2015. As a result of that consultation, the Council is keeping all its library branches open, but cutting services drastically. 

Residents can expect to see the following changes across all branches from March:

  • From the beginning of April, there will be reduced opening times across all libraries. To view the revised times, visit here: 
  • From the end of April, Palmer Park Library service will have its hours cut in half and its service will be delivered in partnership with Reading College; this model will offer work-based placement opportunities for young people with learning difficulties, supported by college tutors and council staff.
  • In autumn 2017, Whitley library will relocate to a new home at South Reading Youth and Community Centre.
  • In winter 2017, Southcote library will relocate to a new home at Southcote Community Centre.
  • From mid-March, customers will be able to access a new catalogue website
  • From late March, self-service kiosks will be introduced across all Reading libraries

Green Party Councillor for Park ward, Rob White said:

"With this latest wave of cuts to library services, it continues to be apparent how much of a bind the council is in with regards to funding. Government cuts continue to result in hits to vital public services such as libraries. The Green Party will continue to stand up to the government’s austerity agenda and fight for public services." 

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