31st July 2018
By Rashleigh MacFarlane
St Ives Town Council is about to take over management of the town’s library.
The library is transferring from Cornwall Council for a nominal fee of £1. It is the latest library to come under new, local management. The others are Falmouth, Penryn, St Austell, Camelford and Redruth.
The arrangement, which is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, means the library’s services will continue to provide all the key services essential to a modern library including digital resources.
The council believes its devolution agenda is the best way to honour its statutory obligation to provide libraries. Across England, Scotland and Wales, nearly 450 libraries have closed in the past six years.
St Ives Library will also remain part of the countywide library service, so customers will keep their existing library cards and will still be able to visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.
Speaking on behalf of St Ives Town Council, Town Mayor Councillor Suzanne Tanner, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve secured the future of the library for the town and by working with Cornwall Council we’ve been able to agree works that will help keep the fabric of the building in good condition at the point of handover.
“It’s a much-loved facility and we have exciting plans for its future, which include longer opening hours, so that the public can use the building six days a week. We also want to support the great work already taking place to provide adult education classes there, which will be another real benefit for the local community.”
Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Cornwall Council has been working closely with town and parish councils and community groups to find the best partners to take over the running of local libraries.”
“St Ives Library being taken over by the local town council is a strong example of local devolution in practice – which means it’ll be run by the town council for the local community.”
“Local people and visitors alike will be able to continue to use it for many years to come and it will continue to provide an excellent library service for the local community.”
St Ives West Cornwall Councillor, Andrew Mitchell said: "In my twenty years in public life I can say that this is really an excellent example of St. Ives Town and Cornwall Council working together to maintain services despite reduced funding. Most important of all it will deliver the wishes of the public.
"This shows what is achievable when there is a clear, obvious outcome which one & all can sign up to!"
St Ives East Cornwall Councillor Richard Robinson MBE, said: “I applaud the valiant efforts of our community in making the case for the retention of the library. I also commend the detailed work carried out by the Members and Officers of St Ives Town Council; work that will ensure that the project will be a success and that the library service in St Ives will continue and will develop in the coming years."
St Ives Library will continue to be a hub for the local community offering all the key services essential to a modern library including computers, free WiFi, a microfilm reader, scanning, printing and photocopying services plus national and local newspapers and a meeting room which is available for hire.
Cornwall libraries also provide members free access to a wide range of online resources. These include electronic books, e-audiobooks, online newspapers and magazines, the ability to stream music to your internet enabled device and research information using the online reference library.