Libraries webinar consultations being held online today

Essex County Council

Essex County Council - Credit: Archant

Two webinar consultations take place today (Monday January 10) into the future of libraries, with one at 12noon and one at 6pm.

Essex County Council had originally planned to close 25 of its 74 libraries in 2019.

Stansted Library protest. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Stansted Library protest. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO - Credit: Archant

Libraries in Stansted and Thaxted would have closed, while the hours at Dunmow Library and Saffron Walden Library would have been reduced.

Petitions, cross-party support, and protests outside libraries, backed by celebrities, convinced the authority to change its mind.

The county council's Draft Library Plan, which was launched in November, now commits to keeping all 74 libraries open, with investment in training and development for library staff.

Today's webinars will be hosted by Deputy Leader, Cllr Louise McKinlay, who will give an oversight on the draft plan and updates on the survey. There will also be time for questions on the new Draft Library Plan.

The first session is today from 12noon to 1pm. For tickets, see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/everyones-library-service-2022-2026-tickets-239158327997

The second session is today from 6pm to 7pm.

For ticket see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/everyones-library-service-2022-2026-tickets-239164195547

The draft plan and survey is online at www.essex.gov.uk/everyoneslibrary and feedback can be submitted until 1pm on Friday January 21.

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Cllr Louise McKinlay said: “This is everyone’s opportunity to help mould what libraries in Essex will look like in the future and I hope you will take the chance to make your views known so these can be considered ahead of plans being finalised.”