Boost for library opening hours

Opening times at the borough’s libraries are set for a boost.

This follows a recent Best Value Review of the service which concluded that improved opening hours are a key priority with local residents.

The changes were given the go-ahead by the Council’s Cabinet last week (24 February) and will be implemented in phases.

Phase One will involve extending hours in the small community libraries and the reference library. It is proposed to extend opening hours at Heathfield, Castelnau, Hampton Hill, Hampton Wick and
Kew libraries by four hours a week, from 2pm to 6pm on Tuesday afternoons starting the week beginning 12 April. From the same date the daily opening times at the Central Reference Library in the Old Town Hall, Richmond, will start half an hour earlier - at 9.30am.

Sunday opening will be piloted at East Sheen and Teddington libraries later this year in a pilot project. And it’s hoped that six or seven day opening can be introduced at some of the busier libraries within 18 months.

As well as improved opening times, the Council has pledged to maintain investment in the library service, and will continue the major refurbishment programme which began with the improvements at East Sheen Library. Twickenham Library will be next in line for a major facelift.

Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Libraries, Sport, Art and Leisure, Cllr Roger Avins, said:

“We are committed to improving the efficiency of the library service to meet the needs of our residents. Local people are highly supportive of the service and, during consultation, told us that better opening hours are among the most important needs.

“We are now acting on this and carrying out improvements across a range of other key areas to bring the service up to the standard that residents rightly expect,” Cllr Avins added.