Who is FOIL?
Friends of Irby Library (FOIL) is a community group of Irby residents who volunteer to keep the library attractive and viable with a range of fundraising events and volunteering activities.
Furniture, blinds, shelving or display units, FOIL has helped with all and more besides.
Through its book sponsorship scheme it has even helped with that most vital ingredient - books!
Reprovision of the library service
On Friday 7 January 2022, Wirral Council produced a document that details budget proposals including closures of libraries, golf courses, public toilets, increasing charges for our garden waste collection and halving the number of school crossing patrols.
Please find below details relating to local libraries.
This saving is associated with the development of a new operating model in libraries which will consolidate and realign the current libraries estate and resources to provide a comprehensive and efficient service for all who wish to use it.
The new operating model will retain four central libraries and four community libraries, as well as four Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) self-service only units co-located in community libraries.
The home reader service will remain for residents who cannot access a traditional library, as will the council’s digital library and online offer.
In addition, the service will invest in a mobile library with a 3,000-book capacity to ensure hard to reach communities have access to a library service.
The saving will be achieved through library closures, service realignment and a staffing restructure, saving: £814k.
The current library service runs at a high cost, many libraries are underused, staffing is stretched and there is a shortage of funding for books, IT facilities and building maintenance and modernisation. The total footfall in Wirral’s libraries has decreased by nearly 30% and this is coupled with an almost 50% decline in active borrowers, and a 57% decrease in book loans over the last decade (excluding COVID-19 impact).
This will allow the service to focus its resources providing a consistent offer to residents at the remaining sites. The new service will also include a Mobile Library to ensure extended provision including to hard to reach and potential new communities have access to a library service.
Please support FOIL by letting friends, neighbours and family know about these budget proposals especially those that don't use email or social media.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, FOIL worked hard to support Irby library by allowing local community groups to use the library and providing activities for children (pre-school and primary age) and older people (especially those with dementia). We have also fundraised through our regular coffee mornings to provide books and equipment for the library to benefit our local people.
We need your support!
Irby Library reopened on 28 October 2021