Keighley and Ilkley Libraries to reduce opening hours

Friday, 17 November 2023 14:43

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

Keighley Library

The public libraries in Ilkley and Keighley will only stay open past 5pm two nights a week as part of a shake-up of opening hours by Bradford Council.

At the moment both Ilkley Library and Keighley Library are open 9am until 7pm, Monday to Friday as well as 9am-5pm on Saturdays.

From 4th December, Ilkley will close at 5pm Tuesday to Thursday and only open until 7pm on Mondays and Fridays.

Keighley Library will stay open until 7pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, but close at 5pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Bradford Council claims the change is not a cost cutting exercise, and will “reduce unplanned closures” that have plagued the library service in recent years.

In an announcement today the Council said there would be no job losses as part of the shake up, and it will allow libraries to be used by community groups when not open to the general public.

A spokesman said: “In August and September Bradford Libraries asked for users to fill in a survey on changing the opening hours at libraries across the district.

“The survey asked about the libraries that you use and the proposed changes to opening hours and which evening opening times would be best.

“There were a total of 1,187 responses to the survey, including users from all 10 Council libraries.

“Overall, a total of 905 (76 per cent) respondents agreed with the proposals.

“From the feedback received some of the proposals were amended.”

The spokesman added: “This is not a cost saving exercise – no staff will lose their jobs and no libraries will close.

“It is hoped that once changes are made it will provide more opportunities for local community groups to use the library spaces when they are not open to the public, retain evening opening times on selected days as well as usual weekend opening, for people who cannot get to the library during the regular working day and reduce unplanned closures.”

Recent years have seen staff shortages lead to unplanned closures of libraries throughout the district.

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