Home library service revamp to save £60,000

An overhaul of Wolverhampton's home library service, which could save around £60,000 and see several staff posts axed, has been unveiled.

Almost 750 people, many of them elderly, use the service across the city – which currently sees books delivered directly to the homes of those who would struggle to get out to their local library. However council chiefs say they expect more users in the coming years as a result of the city's ageing population and that the direct delivery service will become "unsustainable".

Instead bosses are now considering using a postal delivery service and setting up an electronic delivery service for people who have the facilities to read books via computer tablets such as the Kindle.

They are also looking at continuing the direct delivery service but outsourcing it to another organisation such as Age UK.

Members of Wolverhampton City Council's cabinet will meet on January 3 to discuss the changes.

A report set to go before the meeting states the number of staff required to operate the new service "will be reduced".

There are currently the equivalent of five full time positions in the service which would be cut to two under the proposals.

The report states: "These new delivery proposals should have minimal impact on the current service users as professional library staff will still co-ordinate and monitor the service.

"However, it will give the end user more choice on how, what and when services are delivered to them."

People who use the service will be asked on a one-on-one basis about how they would like to receive their books. A consultation with affected staff and trade unions will be launched if cabinet members recommend the changes go ahead.

In November five closure-threatened libraries in Wolverhampton were saved from the axe.

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