Shropshire Council is set to review its libraries as part of a plan to "transform" its services.

The council said on Tuesday that it wants every one of its 21 static and three mobile libraries to provide an "efficient and cost-effective" service that "meets the needs of the community".

It has not said that it will close any libraries, rather that all of its sites will be reviewed and must "maximise their potential". The council also said "co-location", under which libraries would share other community locations, would also be considered.

Proposals to develop the services provided by the council's libraries will be discuss by councillors at a cabinet meeting next Wednesday, March 23.

A six-point plan has been proposed to transform services over a three-year period. The plan, quoted here verbatim from the council, will see libraries:

  • Improving opportunities for reading, literacy, culture and creativity
  • Improving health and wellbeing of communities
  • Promoting economic recovery and growth
  • Supporting communities that are resilient and inclusive
  • Offering more innovative and sustainable services
  • Enabling discovery of the digital world

The library service currently operates through 21 static libraries, a prison library, and three mobile libraries. The council says "the mix of provision will continue".

Among its libraries are sites in Oswestry, Gobowen, Ellesmere, Whitchurch and Wem. There are two in Shrewsbury plus one at Bayston Hill.

In a statement, Shropshire Council said: "Changes to the current library service structure, supported by a clear workforce strategy, will enable staff to adapt and enhance their roles to become more pro-actively involved in wider community engagement.

"In support of these proposals it is intended self-service kiosks will be installed in all libraries, along with contactless card-payments, and library opening hours will be tailored to reach people with the greatest needs.

"Shropshire Council is also exploring opportunities to improve interaction with people and businesses in the county by extending Shropshire Local into libraries where appropriate.

"The mobile library service will also pilot partnerships with the voluntary sector, health and local services to combat loneliness and isolation in the most rural and difficult to reach areas, meaning a wider range of services being brought to those communities."