Fife’s network of libraries is set to change its opening hours.
The shake-up include Saturday and evening opening across the board – and a commitment that every branch stays open at lunchtime.
It comes into force on Tuesday (May 7), and follows on from a survey of 2000 people who use libraries across the region, and a detailed study of where they go.
OnFife Libraries says many will have their opening hours extended. but that will come at the expense of less access during quieter times.
Morning opening times will shift from 9.30am to 10.00am, and evening access will move to a Thursday.
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OnFife Libraries has been in consultation with trade unions to discuss the impact on 150 staff who work across its network of 29 libraries.
The organisation believes they lay the foundations for a “vibrant and sustainable future”.
Examples of specific changes, which reflect local demand, are Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries opening all day on a Wednesday, with Kirkcaldy Galleries opening on a Monday morning to meet public demand.
But, from May,in general, it will shift from a Monday to a Thursday and the hours adjusted according to footfall.
Many libraries, including Leslie, St Monans, Newburgh, Ladybank, Elie, Auchtermuchty and Newport, will open on an additional day of the week.
Meeting customer demands in this way has been accommodated by reducing opening times during quieter times – for instance, morning opening times have generally moved from 9.30am to 10am
The change in opening hours is part of OnFife’s long term aim to sustain and expand the role of libraries as creative and learning hubs at the heart of communities.
June Souter, head of libraries service development, said: “We have worked to deliver a schedule that is mindful of the needs of our customers and our staff. We are very grateful to the staff for their support in helping us to make these changes.
“We operate 29 libraries across Fife with over 150 staff, so the scale of work involved in changing our complex library rotas was many months in the making. Working with the unions throughout the process has helped support these changes.The enhanced hours underpin our journey to transform our library service.”
Heather Stuart, chief executive, said: “Our vision is for libraries to be busy creative and learning hubs at the heart of communities. The changed hours is one important step along this journey.
“We’ve already introduced events to boost footfall but there are also exciting plans such as live music and community cinema in our library spaces. By bringing in more visitors, these new services help safeguard the more traditional library services, much loved by our loyal members.”