A new chapter for Leighton’s library?

Leighton Buzzard library & theatre 30th birthday in 2009
Leighton Buzzard library & theatre 30th birthday in 2009

LEIGHTON Buzzard Library has the highest number of issues of all the libraries in Central Bedfordshire, according to a new report.

A Library Service Strategy has been presented to Central Beds Council’s executive committee which looks to make improvements to the Lake Street facility.

Consultation with the public in 2011 revealed the library to be unsuccessful at providing advice and support services and being in need of refurbishment.

The library is one of the most popular libraries in Central Bedfordshire, with the highest number of active users in the authority.

Executive councillors met earlier this month to set the direction of Central Bedfordshire’s library service for the next 15 years. They say they hope to deliver their vision for a “vibrant, high quality, relevant and sustainable library service for the people of Central Bedfordshire for the 21st Century”.

Leighton’s library, first opened in 1979, and the report states it requires some refurbishment, particularly in the lobby area and stairwell.

Through additional capital funding and implementation of self-service technology so customers can serve themselves, the Library Service Strategy aims to improve the library’s space usage and layout.

High-running costs are also said to be a problem, which the report states may be improved by creating greater integration between the library and theatre on the second floor.

The library service has a net expenditure budget of £2.84m for 2012/13 and £850,000 will be invested in libraries over the next two years to support building modernisation, and the self service technology.

As well as improving the layout of Leighton’s library, the service will endeavour to provide greater community engagement and examine the opening hours, as Friday morning closing has proved unpopular with users.

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