Hertfordshire libraries could become ‘community hubs’

LIBRARIES in Hertfordshire could be opened out of hours to accommodate voluntary and community groups.

The county council is considering proposals to allow library buildings to be used by nearby committees and organisations for meetings, projects or services, at times when the building would usually be closed.

It could also mean the public will be able to borrow and return books and DVDs at the same time, via the library’s self-checkout system.

Library opening hours across the county were recently cut in a bid to save cash, but Cllr Chris Hayward, cabinet member for libraries, said he hoped the plan could turn the facilities into “community hubs”.

“To help make the most of these important public spaces we’re offering local voluntary groups the chance to use library buildings out-of-hours,” he said. “We hope this initiative will make libraries more like community hubs than simply learning resources.

“This will help build stronger links with voluntary groups in Hertfordshire.”

The council will develop pilot schemes, before rolling the policy out across the county.