Time for a change to library opening hours

From 01 October library opening hours will be changing. Councillor Richard Lewis outlines his views on the future of Edinburgh's libraries in the modern age.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Leisure Convener, The City of Edinburgh Council:

"With winter approaching there will be many people looking forward to spending the long evenings with a good book. Or perhaps even an e-book. As the world moves increasingly online, how we access books has changed quite dramatically over the last few years.

It's unsurprising then that the way people want to borrow books has also undergone a significant shift in recent years, meaning the library service we provide has also had to adapt. 

Last year we consulted with nearly 10,000 people to ask what they would want from a modern libraries service. It was one of the biggest consultation exercises this Council has ever carried out and the responses helped shape our strategy for the future.

For the first time ever 22 libraries will now be open from 10am-5pm on a Saturday and we've also kept our popular Sunday opening in the six libraries that currently have it. Opening hours during the week have also been changed to reflect demand and there have been changes to Thursday opening.

This now leaves libraries on a secure footing for the coming years. It is no secret that local authorities across the country are facing a squeeze on budgets but I'm proud to say that in Edinburgh we're bucking the trend and not closing any libraries. Instead we're continuing to invest in and refurbish our libraries.

This Council sees libraries as a key service - they are not just a place to borrow books but also the heart of communities. At Drumbrae we've recently opened a brand new library and community hub, and later this year work will be complete on another brand new facility at Craigmillar.

This week we'll be holding events in libraries across the city to celebrate our libraries and raise awareness of the new opening times. There has never been a better time to visit your local library so come along and join in for free."

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