A spokesperson for Halton Borough Council said: “For the safety of library staff and customers, the library will be closing earlier, in line with Runcorn Shopping City’s opening times. Halton Lea Library currently stays open Tuesdays and Thursdays until 7pm and the two members of staff leave the building at 7.15pm. The shopping centre is desolate at this time as the shops and car parks are closed from 6pm.
“The staff who use public transport have to make their way to the bus station. For those travelling to Widnes this is next to Trident Park, which they get to either by walking on the road or crossing over to Asda and walking round to the bus station where they quite often stood on the platform alone.
“To support and encourage reading for pleasure, Halton Library Service provides an extensive collection of books in physical and digital formats. This includes access to e-books, physical collections in four libraries, special collections, such as Reading Well to support health and wellbeing, large print collections, free digital newspapers and magazines.
“The library service provides events and activities to support and encourage reading. These include weekly story sessions for 0-4 year olds, the annual Summer Reading Challenge to encourage reading during the summer school holidays (children track their reading and collect rewards), a full programme of school visits, reading groups, author visits for adults and children
Reading Friends groups (telephone and in person shared reading groups to combat isolation), memory boxes and reminiscence services to support older people and those living with dementia, and the Halton Reads reading festival.
“The service works extensively in the community and in partnership to reach groups who might not engage with libraries and reading – these include working with refugee families, targeted teenage event programmes, health partners, residential homes and the Home Library Service – a free book delivery service for residents unable to visit library buildings.
“The library service is free to join, no ID is required and no fines are charged – thus removing barriers for all residents who want to use the services. In library buildings we offer free PC and wifi access, drop-in staff support at all times, and access to resources free to use only in public libraries.”
The new opening hours from 1 September will be:
If the early closure affects you, please contact Sally.firstname.lastname@example.org and the service will look at what measures can be put in place. Alternatively, pass your name and number to the library staff to receive a call.