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Aldeburgh: Group outline library vision

PUBLISHED: 13:20 25 August 2011

Aldeburgh Library

Aldeburgh Library

THOSE behind a project to take control of a town library have spoken of their hope to turn it into a “knowledge hub”.

The Aldeburgh Steering Group is one of a handful of organisations that has been chosen by Suffolk County Council to run its own library.

The service will “go live” in April next year and last night those behind the plans said good progress was being made.

Clive Fox, chairman of the steering group, said: “At the heart of our proposal was the strongly held view that the way forward must be through genuine partnerships between the county as statutory library authority and local people, who should be trusted to know best what they need and how to achieve it.

“I am delighted to find that concept has been wholeheartedly embraced, and we are now working together for a common objective.

“Our Aldeburgh business plan set out key principles for devolving many aspects of central management to the local level, with a realistic view of costs, and it has been accepted as a whole.”

The group said it wanted not just to preserve the existing service, but to develop it progressively into a thriving “knowledge hub” at the heart of the community and to use the facility to help build community cohesion.

Joint discussions have now started, and the Aldeburgh group and county council officers will work together to resolve the operational details over the autumn and winter.

The county council is working with various organisations to deliver seven pilot projects that will keep open 14 libraries that had been threatened with closure.

County council bosses had said that 29 libraries would have to shut unless people came forward to run them themselves.

However, after a huge public outcry the council made a U-turn and instead said it would oversee a new organisation to help run them.

A decision on how that will work will be made in November following a best-value evaluation.

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