LIBRARIES in Wrexham could be relocated to schools and other community buildings as part of a bid to save £130,000.

Wrexham Council is preparing to undertake a review of the 10 libraries in the county and has revealed that co-location of facilities is one of the options it will examine.

It forms part of a package of cuts approved by executive board members last month totalling £6.1 million.

The local authority will also consider the option for branch libraries to be taken over by communities, as well as looking at the possibility of lone working.

Chief executive Ian Bancroft said the council was at risk of paying to maintain too many buildings while failing to invest in new books and IT facilities.

He said: “The research shows that you either need libraries co-located or you need them in the busiest place with a heavy footfall on the High Street.

“There are examples where we’ve got libraries very close to schools where schools are running a library and we’re running a library nearby.

“I think the importance of the review is we have that debate with the community and those stakeholders saying how do we make sure we sustain these facilities in a way that’s affordable for the long term?

“One of the real dangers that happens with library services is you maintain too many buildings and you have very short opening hours.

“You can’t invest in the stock, you can’t invest in the programme and you can’t invest in the IT, which means actually you’re running the service down.”

Wrexham Council currently spends about £1.3 million on libraries every year.

However, during a consultation it told residents a complete review of library services was needed in light of reductions to the amount of money it receives from central government.

In a separate move the authority is seeking a contractor to refurbish Wrexham’s main town centre library.

Mr Bancroft said it would include the introduction of self-service technology to allow people to check books in and out.

He said: “Clearly the town centre library is always going to be an important library.

“In terms of self-service that is going to be the general direction of travel within library services within the UK following on from banks and supermarkets.

“There will be some people who prefer not to go to the counter and serve themselves.

“There will be others who want to go to the counter and it’s about making sure we have that range of opportunity.”