Libraries seeking to address digital effect and gauge volunteer potential

A LIBRARIES survey is being held in York as more people turn to digital downloads to read 

During a time of tough economic difficulties York Council also wants to gauge how many people are willing to volunteer in its libraries – a resource it says will become even more vital during the tough times ahead.

The survey, which is being launched today, will ask people how York Council’s library services could develop in future.

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Council officials have said they intend to continue providing a service that offers something for everyone in York despite the present financial challenges.

The consultation will question people about how they use the city’s nine libraries, five explore library learning centres, one 
mobile and a reading café as 
well as how they would like to 
see the service develop in the future.

The survey also wants to know how digital technology – such as smart phones and tablets – is changing the way people want to access libraries.

An extensive network of volunteers, working alongside paid staff, already adds value to library services, officials said, adding that this support would become an even more important resource in years to come.

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They hope the survey gauges the appetite for volunteering among respondents and at what level.

Coun Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for leisure, culture and 
tourism, said: “This consultation is about asking the public what they see as the most important aspects of the service and how we might use the city’s 16 library buildings to their maximum potential.

“To deliver the broadest and best library services we believe we need to transform the way that we deliver them and give local people more choice and control over them.”

The consultation runs from today until November 5. Copies of the questionnaire can be collected from or returned to any library or council customer services centres.

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Alternatively, residents can contact Fiona Williams by email – [email protected] for copies.

The questions can also be answered online – at

Following public talks a report, detailing the findings, should be published before the end of the year.

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