New funding eases cuts to library opening hours
Cuts to public library opening hours will not be as severe as first feared.
Libraries NI has revised its proposals for new hours after the announcement of £2.39m additional funding by DCAL Minister Caral Ni Chuilin.
The additional money eases the financial pressure on Libraries NI and means that opening hours do not need to be reduced to the same level as originally proposed to meet savings targets.
The Libraries NI Board's decision now means that all public libraries across Northern Ireland are categorised into one of six bands based on level of use: (Band 1) 57 hours per week; (Band 2) 48 hours per week; (Band 3) 40 hours per week; (Band 4) 30 hours per week; (Band 5) 25 hours per week; and (Band 6) 18 hours per week.
Chief executive of Libraries NI Irene Knox said: "Some libraries' opening hours will not change; in others there will be a slight increase and in some libraries there will be a reduction.
"We will now engage with customers to develop new opening hour patterns remaining fair to them, libraries and our staff."