Old Town Councillor, Nadine Watts, has expressed concern over the loss of opening hours at the Old Town library in the Arts Centre.
Old Town Councillor, Nadine Watts, has expressed concern over the loss of opening hours at the Old Town library in the Arts Centre. Currently the Old Town library is open for 38 hours a week with 18 paid staffed hours, however from April 1st with HQ Theatres taking over the running of the Arts Centre, the Old Town library will only be open for the 18 staffed hours and library users will lose the 20 hours of extra access to the library and its self-service checkout machine that they currently benefit from.
The Old Town library moved from its previous building on Victoria Road to the Arts Centre with the move being sold to Old Town library users as an opportunity to have more hours of access to the library with it being part of a community hub.
Councillor Nadine Watts said that Old Town library users feel let down as they had understood that HQ Theatre’s taking over of operational control of the Old Town library would not affect their access to the library and now they’ve been told that effectively the library’s opening hours have been reduced by more than half. She also said that a formal complaint has been made about the lack of consultation the Council had with library users over the changes.
Old Town Councillor, Nadine Watts, said: “I am really concerned about the fact that the Old Town library’s opening hours look set to reduce by half. I do appreciate the Cabinet’s position was that the library’s staffed opening hours was 18 hours. However, for Old Town library users, they have had more access to the library because it has been part of a community hub within the Arts Centre.
Some library users have said they feel betrayed by the fact that they were told things would not be much different with the Arts Centre under different operational management, however this clearly will not be the case with the current proposals.
I have been urging the Council to try to find a resolution where the Arts Centre can be kept open for longer during the daytime, so that the library can be still accessed as much as it is now.”