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Cockermouth's new Library Centre

In 2017 Cockermouth Town Council agreed to take over the town's Carnegie Library building for a multiple use by community. Once plans are finalised it is hoped to relocate both the area Tourist Information Centre (currently at Kings Arms Lane) and Allerdale offices (currently in the Fairfield car park) to join a county council run library facility in the library building. Cumbria County Council’s cabinet has agreed to transfer the building to the town council.

The existing library staff are all leaving, having taken voluntary redundancy, and the town council will move the tourist information centre into the building, with its staff manning both services.

Information from a meeting of Friends of Library group 6/3/2017.....(NB It was noted that the town council does not expect formal handover to take place until perhaps the middle of May when the Service Level Agreement and Heads of Terms have been signed.)

3. Talking books and services for the disabled: The talking books service will continue. Other services for disabled library users will continue as at present. The home delivery service for housebound users will continue. Wheelchair access is at the rear, as unfortunately position of the building does not make construction of a ramp to the front door practicable.

4. Staffing / library oversight: Town council (ie tourist information centre) staff will relocate to the library in early April. The county council's staff will also remain until mid-May when the formal handover takes place, meaning that there will be a generous period of overlap. Thereafter the county council will maintain oversight until they are happy everything is functioning well. A librarian service will continue to be provided in perpetuity, with a qualified librarian making regular visits to Cockermouth (she oversees thirteen libraries in Allerdale). FoCL encouraged the town council to consider its long-term strategy for staff development and recruitment.
Self-service machines are due to be installed on 13th March.

5. Computers / internet access: The two computers downstairs will remain in situ, provided by the county council. These will be connected to the CCC server which has a licence for the free ancestry and geneaology service. There will be a number of computers upstairs which will be provided by Allerdale BC and connected to their server which provides a job search facility as well as internet access. Users will be able to access Which? magazine and legal advice These have been secured with DWP funding. FoCL thanked town and county council staff for their work in helping to secure these well-used services. It was noted that at some point it may be worth reviewing the balance of county council / district council computers with a view to adding a third one onto the county council server if the ancestry service proves to be particularly popular (as we suspect).

We will update information here as the plans progress. (Return to home page)