Library opening times to include Saturdays
Central Bedfordshire Council will increase library opening times across its 12 libraries. This includes a Saturday afternoon service.
The changes come after consulting with customers and listening to their feedback.
Last year, the council looked at reducing opening by a total of 30 hours per week to meet a £85,000 efficiency target.
This target is now £56,000, which has meant that longer opening times are possible.
Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services, said:
“We’ve listened to that feedback and amended our plans based on their responses, such as opening all libraries on Saturdays, which will mean more people will be able to use our service.”
From 1 October, the libraries are to be spilt into three categories:
Community Libraries: Ampthill, Barton, Potton, Stotfold and Toddington. Community libraries (except Ampthill) will be open for the same or longer hours than they are now. They will open on both afternoons and mornings during the week. In total, these libraries will operate for 17 hours more than at present
Area Libraries: Biggleswade, Flitwick, Houghton Regis, Sandy and Shefford. Area libraries (except Houghton Regis) will all open for the same or longer hours than they are now. In total, these libraries will operate for 13 hours more than at present
Main Libraries: Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard. These libraries will lose five hours a week (from 48 hours per week to 43).
All libraries will open on Saturday afternoons, instead of four. All 12 will be closed on Mondays
Ampthill Library’s new opening hours
Wednesday: 2pm – 6pm
Thursday: 9am – 1pm
Friday: 9am-1pm and 2pm – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 4pm
Flitwick Library’s new opening times
Tuesday – Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 4pm
The libraries have seen an increase in visitor numbers, from 58,000 in 2015 to 65,000 last year.
Special events are regularly held in the libraries. For the summer there is the Summer Reading Challenge.