Four libraries in South Tyneside are at risk of closure if community groups are unable to come forward to run them.
After having had its budget almost halved South Tyneside Council is encouraging volunteers to come forward to run branches in Whitburn, East Boldon, Boldon Lane and Primrose, reported Chronicle Live.
Councillor Alan Kerr, lead member for culture and leisure at the council, said: “The way that people use our libraries is changing and we must change with them. We are committed to delivering an affordable, sustainable, modern and efficient library service that meets the changing needs of our residents.
“We have come up with some proposals about what the borough’s library service could look like in the future and would like to hear what people think, or indeed, any alternative suggestions they may have."
As part of their proposals, the council is also considering whether to create library access or collection points for books pre-ordered online. The strategy will be considered at cabinet on 17th May and if approved, a public consultation on the plans will run from June until August.
Kerr added: “Not all the changes have been popular but it is only by working innovatively that we have managed to safeguard services in for the future. This is undoubtedly an unsettling time for our staff and service users. Discussions with trade unions and staff are ongoing and we will continue the dialogue with all parties affected throughout the consultation process.”