CAMBS: Supermarket-style library services given green light.

A SUPERMARKET-style way of delivering library services has been given the green light to be rolled out across Cambridgeshire.

Members of Cambridgeshire County Council’s cabinet have approved a move to replace the current library service with a “21st century” model, that would see libraries being ranked as supermarkets.

The largest facility dubbed “extra” will be reserved for towns and cities with the largest populations - Cambridge, Huntingdon and Ely - and will provide all the library and learning services.

While the smallest facilities called “access” or “compact” would only offer services asked for by the local community and would have to share premises with other public or private organisations.

In a paper on the proposal prepared for last week’s cabinet meeting, officers said the new model would mean library services could be provided from more places, and that there would be more opportunity for members of the public to shape their local service.

But opponents to the scheme have criticised the new model, saying it is “consumerist.”

Moves to create an independent, charitable trust for the library service were also scrapped by cabinet at their meeting last week. It was feared the creation of a trust could see the council lose money.