By Christian Barnett – Local Democracy Reporter
The future of some libraries in the city is in doubt after ranking low on a review of need by the county council.
St John’s and Warndon libraries ranked in the bottom seven in an assessment of Worcestershire’s 23 libraries by the county council and both could see big changes or even closure.
In the report, the options for St John’s library include reducing opening hours or switching to an ‘open’ un-staffed library which means finding and checking out books would become completely self-service and would also allow for the library to stay open longer.
The library facilities could also be shared with other council services or businesses.
On the opposite end of the scale, libraries in Evesham and Malvern as well as The Hive in Worcester were deemed to be of the greatest need.
Members of the county council’s cabinet approved a 90-day public consultation at a meeting on Thursday.
The consultation will look at how close libraries are to each other, which district council or community groups could run the library and look at how many people are visiting the library and what they do when they visit.
A final decision on the structure of the county’s libraries will most likely be made in spring 2019.
The council needs to save £1 million by the end of the financial year in 2021
Library users were told “use it or lose it” by the council earlier this month but it said it would only close libraries as a very last resort.
Councillor Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for communities, said: “No change is not an option.”