Libraries across Herts could be made independent under an overhaul being considered by council bosses.
A six-week public consultation is covering five possible options for changing how the county’s libraries are run.
One possibility is to keep them ‘in-house’ and run by Herts County Council – but chiefs warn that ongoing budget cuts are likely to mean service reductions.
Alternatively they could be run by a ‘local authority trading company’, meaning they are still owned by County Hall but with “added freedom to pursue commercial opportunities”.
Other options include a ‘public service mutual’ run by either the council, the community or staff, which is seen as the “most flexible” option.
Option 4 is to outsource the libraries altogether, but this has the risk of poor performance and that income would not be reinvested into services.
Or the council could enter a joint venture with a third party.
The consultation runs until February 18.
To take part visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/libraryconsultation