Library bosses say Northamptonshire service is not under threat despite fundraising announcement

Kettering Library
Kettering Library

Library bosses at Northamptonshire County Council say the creation of a new scheme to raise more funds does not mean the libraries service is at risk.

The authority announced earlier this week that it wanted people to sign up to become so-called Library Guardians.

The Guardians would make a one-off donation, or regular contribution, towards enhancing library services.

In return, the county council says, they would benefit from a discount on library services including book reservations, receive early-bird invitations to library events, and regular email bulletins on how their money is helping to support libraries.

However, concerns were raised this week that the scheme is a threat to the free public library service.

But Cllr Robin Brown said: “Our charity scheme for libraries – far from being a threat to public libraries – is actually a vital tool in helping us to protect them from front line service reductions.

“We see our library services as absolutely critical in delivering not only traditional library services but also a whole host of other front line offerings such as some elements of children centre services and business start up advice.

“Our commitment to libraries is clearly shown that while other counties have seen closures and reduced hours, here in Northamptonshire not one library has closed, opening hours have increased and Sunday opening has been reintroduced.”

The council set up a registered charity in May last year, called LibraryPlus Trust.

To find out more about LibraryPlus Trust or to become a library guardian, visit www.libraryplustrust.org.uk.