RESIDENTS are being asked for their views on running their local library service.

A meeting will take place in Blackhall on Thursday (March 12) to discuss the possibility of community ownership of libraries, with further meetings to follow in other communities.

Organised by the East Durham Trust charity, members of the public will be asked to comment on what services they might like to see within their library, what other views they have on the library service and how they might like to be involved in community ownership should it arise.

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The meeting is a way of gathering information from the public and the Trust emphasise that there is no threat to the library service.

Trust Chief Executive Malcolm Fallow said, “In recent times the opening hours of local libraries have been cut and in some cases libraries have been closed down.

“Whilst there is no imminent threat to local libraries, continued austerity measures and public spending cuts suggest that it would be wise to consider all future possibilities”.

One consideration is the potential for libraries to move from council control into public or community ownership. The consultation will explore the support, or otherwise, for alternative arrangements.

The meeting takes place at Blackhall Community Centre at 5pm on Thursday.

Alternatively, hard copies of the survey are available from Blackhall Library or Blackhall Community Centre, or call 0191-569-3511 for a paper questionnaire.