Public views spark rethink over Oxon library staff

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A PUBLIC consultation over the fate of smaller libraries in Oxfordshire has led to proposals for more full-time staff.

Almost 5,000 people gave their views as part of the four-month consultation into the future of the county library service.

Bicester’s library, as one of the county’s 22 ‘core’ libraries, would be unaffected by financial cutbacks announced last year.

But the 21 other libraries, in towns and villages such as Adderbury and Deddington, would need some volunteer support to survive.

Five of the smallest would have needed two-thirds volunteer support, but will now be two-thirds staffed by council employees under the proposals.

Councillor David Robertson, deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We are certainly a million miles away from where we were 12 months ago, when we were proposing to cease funding 20 libraries. It was clear from the consultation feedback that there is a big appetite in our communities to keep libraries open and I am confident that people would come forward in the future and volunteer in the relevant libraries to help achieve this.”