Reduced hours for Ballymena Central Library

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Libraries NI has announced plans to consult on reducing opening hours in its 14 busiest libraries, including Ballymena Central.

A public consultation will be held from today to July 17 to identify the most suitable pattern of hours in the 14 libraries concerned.

It is proposed that the opening hours in Ballymena Central library will be reduced from 50 hours to 45 hours accordingly.

Customers will be consulted about new opening hour patterns, with the following libraries being affected: Ballymena Central, Bangor Carnegie, Belfast Central, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Derry Central, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Finaghy, Glengormley, Lisburn City, Lurgan, Newry City and Omagh.

The reduction in library opening hours forms part of an overall package of savings that Libraries NI needs to implement to help meet current budget demands.

Commenting on the cuts Chief Executive of Libraries NI Irene Knox said: “This is not the ideal situation however we must plan for and consider our budget for the year ahead. We will continue to liaise with staff, customers and stakeholders throughout this process and we will listen to any concerns raised. If our circumstances change, and additional funding is made available, then it will be used to minimise the reductions in library opening hours.”

For the consultation, people are invited to complete a questionnaire which can be accessed at any of the 14 libraries affected or online at www.librariesni.org.uk .

The new patterns of library opening hours for the 14 libraries will be implemented in November 2016.