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Reassurances on future of Haringey library services

PUBLISHED: 12:16 04 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:30 07 September 2010

I would like to reassure your readers about the future of Haringey s library service. We have an enormously successful library service, one of the best in the country, and we have every intention of keeping it that way. We have invested in new technology

I would like to reassure your readers about the future of Haringey's library service. We have an enormously successful library service, one of the best in the country, and we have every intention of keeping it that way.

We have invested in new technology in two of our main libraries , allowing customers to self-issue and return their books.

Already in Tottenham's Marcus Garvey library 78 per cent of transactions are now carried out by customers, not staff. We have also been able to automate much of our stock purchasing and cataloguing.

As a local authority we have a responsibility to our council tax payers to deliver services in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. New technology has reduced the need for backroom staff and enables us to have more staff out in the library assisting customers.

We have therefore been reviewing the staffing structure of our library service. We currently employ 170 permanent staff and the new structure includes 171 posts. So this is not about reducing the overall number of staff. It is about making the service better by modernising the structure.

The changes we propose will also enhance the responsibilities of local library managers so that they can tailor their services more closely to the needs of their communities.

The proposed changes have been discussed with the trade unions and negotiations are ongoing. Existing staff will be matched to the new posts, in accordance with normal council procedures.

We will keep any displacement of staff to a minimum and all staff affected would be helped through our redeployment process.

Cllr Lorna Reith

Lead Member for Community Involvement, Haringey Council

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