HALF of Barnsley's libraries will have their opening hours cut.
It comes after a 12-week consultation earlier this year looking at the future priorities for the borough's library service.
A Barnsley Council report shows a small reduction in opening hours at nine of the 17 libraries - with no changes to the Central Library in the town centre which is due to be demolished next year.
Cudworth will close two hours earlier on a Tuesday, while in Goldthorpe the opening hours will increase by two-and-a-half hours, staying open longer on a Wednesday. Hoyland will close two hours earlier on a Thursday.
Mapplewell and Staincross will close two hours earlier on a Monday and Penistone will increase opening hours on Mondays and Tuesdays, be open on Wednesdays and open longer on Thursdays.
Athersley will reduce opening times by six hours, closing early on a Monday, staying open an hour later on a Tuesday and then reducing opening hours on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and closing completely on Saturdays.
Royston will reduce by two-and-a-half hours, closing earlier on a Monday and a Saturday. In Wombwell the library will close earlier on a Monday, at 5pm instead of 7pm.
The neighbourhood library in Darfield will reduce opening hours on Monday, Tuesday and Friday but stay open longer Thursdays. There will be no change at Dodworth.
In Grimethorpe, the library will open two hours longer on a Wednesday. Monk Bretton and Thurnscoe libraries will reduce opening times by six hours but there will be no change at Priory Campus or Worsbrough.
The Library Link in Kendray will be available during the resource centre's opening hours.
The plan is for Barnsley's 17 libraries to be split into two types - 'community libraries' run by the council and smaller 'neighbourhood libraries' run by local groups.
The community libraries would be in Barnsley town centre, Cudworth, Goldthorpe, Hoyland, Mapplewell, Penistone, Athersley, Royston and Wombwell and stock a full range of books, host a range of activities such as reading groups, and access to IT and meeting rooms.
Neighbourhood libraries in Darfield, Dodworth, Grimethorpe, Monk Bretton, Priory Campus, Thurnscoe and Worsbrough would have a smaller book stock.
Feedback from the consultation showed libraries in Barnsley are 'highly valued' by those who use them.
It found many people did not want the two-tier service, and many believed the neighbourhood libraries were more likely to be under threat in future.
There was also concern over a reduction in opening hours, particularly a drop in late nights and Saturday mornings, because of the impact on working people's ability to access them.
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