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An update on Suffolk Libraries' 'Next Five Years' review

For the last few months, Suffolk Libraries has been carrying out a comprehensive review to help plan for the next five years of its contact, which was renewed on 1 August.

The result of this review is likely to lead to some staffing changes but we are reassuring people that it will not include library closures or changes to opening hours.

Alison Wheeler, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “The aim has been to look at how Suffolk Libraries can run a modern and affordable library service with a sustainable future which meets the needs of library users and the people of Suffolk. The library service is always changing and evolving and this kind of review has not been carried out since 1990. Library services and the world around them have changed a great deal in 27 years.

“We’ve tried to be clear from the start of this process that staffing is our biggest cost and there will be less jobs in future. As has already been reported in the local press, there could be a reduction of 15 full time posts, of which less than 10 are frontline library staff. As many staff work only a few hours a week the proposals would affect a higher number of staff than this.

“Suffolk Libraries is currently consulting with staff over the proposed changes and nothing has been confirmed yet. The review and further discussions over any changes are likely to continue throughout the rest of 2017.

“We understand that this will be a difficult time for all staff who may be at risk of redundancy. We are working closely with all staff who are at risk to explain what’s happening and to give them as much support as we can through this process and give them an opportunity to give their views.”