New opening hours for Dorset libraries move a step closer: Check yours

LIBRARIES in Dorset could see changes to their opening hours under new plans.

Dorset Council’s new library strategy was approved by the cabinet on Tuesday (July 25), meaning a series of changes will soon come into force.

Although no libraries will close under the plans, changes are proposed to opening hours.

Under the plan, libraries are designated as one of three categories – Library, Library Plus, Library Connect – depending on the services on offer.

Depending on the designation, opening hours will vary.

The hours are as follows:

Beaminster; Corfe Mullen; Crossways; Lyme Regis; Lytchett Matravers; Sturminster Newton; Upton; Verwood; West Moors; Wyke Regis

Proposed opening hours:
Monday: 12 noon to 6pm
Tuesday: 10am to 1pm
Wednesday: 10am to 1pm
Thursday: 2pm to 5pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 10am to 1pm
Sunday: Closed

Library Plus:
Gillingham; Littlemoor; Portland; Shaftesbury; Sherborne; Swanage; Wareham; Wimborne

Proposed opening hours
Monday: 10am to 5pm
Tuesday: 10am to 5pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 10am to 5pm
Friday: 12 noon to 6pm
Saturday: 10am to 1pm
Sunday: Closed

Library Connect:
Blandford; Bridport; Dorchester; Ferndown; Weymouth

Proposed opening hours
Monday: 10am to 5pm
Tuesday: 10am to 5pm
Wednesday: 10am to 5pm
Thursday: 10am to 6pm
Friday: 10am to 5pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sunday: Closed

The council said the strategy was shaped using more than 12,000 responses from two public consultations, from feedback gathered in engagement workshops and data on local need, to see how libraries can meet the needs of residents and communities over the next decade.

Cllr Laura Beddow, portfolio holder for culture and communities, said: “We are delighted that our new library strategy has been approved, with councillors giving great feedback on our vision for the future of our library service.

“It is an ambitious strategy informed by the views of residents and by customer need that will not result in any closures, instead enhancing Dorset’s libraries for the future.

“Residents have made it perfectly clear that libraries are at the heart of their communities and this strategy really reflects that.

“The conversation doesn’t end here. We will continue to work with our communities and listen to their views on our strategy.”

The plan will not go before the full council, with work set to begin to implement the new library strategy.

It is planned the new operating model and changes to opening hours will come into effect from April 2024.

Queries or questions can be sent to the council via
To read the full strategy, click HERE.

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