A new chapter for Derby’s community libraries could begin soon under fresh proposals to come before Cabinet in February.

Councillors will be asked to approve plans for the city’s 10 non-statutory libraries to be run by a Trust. The separate organisation could either run the community libraries itself or establish a new Trust to do so.

Following the election of a new Labour-led administration last May, the Council was asked to consider options to deliver a sustainable, long-term library service. 

Many other models have been explored, including keeping the library service in-house, or running it as a joint service with other councils.

In August 2023, two new options for delivering library services were recommended to Cabinet which included combining statutory and community library provision. Following extensive research and after taking legal advice, the plan now is for the community library provision only to be run by a Trust.

The recommended model would enable involvement from local communities, allowing them to shape the services to meet local needs.   

If plans are approved, the Council will launch a formal process to identify viable proposals from Trusts or organisations who want to run services. The Council could provide a grant and support packages to be negotiated as part of the formal process to find a Trust. 

The Council has a statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. In Derby the statutory provision is delivered from five static libraries - Alvaston, Mickleover, Normanton, Riverside Library in the Council House, and Derby Local Studies and Family History Library in Riverside Chambers - and a store at Blagreaves.

Councillor Baggy Shanker, Leader of Derby City Council, said:

Our libraries are the heart of our communities, and we're unwavering in our commitment to their future. They're not just buildings, but essential hubs for connection, learning, and support.

We've delivered on our promise to keep libraries open, and we've gone further by enhancing services, such as introducing a Family Hub at Blagreaves, putting them in good stead for success under a new Trust model.

Our vision is a service that remains comprehensive, high-quality, and adapts to our evolving needs.

The Council will continue to operate the city’s 10 community libraries while the formal process to find a Trust to run them takes place.

The community library buildings are Allestree, Allenton, Blagreaves, Chaddesden Park, Chellaston, Derwent Community Library, Mackworth, Sinfin, Spondon and Springwood (Oakwood).