OPENING hours at nine libraries in the town will be slashed by up to 11 hours a week from Monday as part of a trial month by LiveWire.

The new timings will be trialled and if deemed successful the organisation will look to implement them permanently.

Bosses say it will allow more investment in technology in a bid to attract new customers.

Penketh, Westbrook, Culcheth, Padgate, Birchwood, Stockton Heath, Lymm, Orford and Warrington Central libraries will be affected following a review which looked at how busy each branch was.

It investigated usage each day and identified the quietest and busiest periods.

The move will see opening times cut by; 11 hours at Birchwood, Padgate 10 hours, Culcheth eight hours 30 minutes, Warrington Central eight hours, Penketh five hours 30 minutes, Lymm and Orford four hours and Stockton Heath and Westbrook three hours and 30 minutes.

The review revealed just two users were accessing some libraries during their first half an hour of opening, with the hours of 6pm to 7pm also generally among the quietest periods.

LiveWire said it found some branches which close for one day a week 'have the same or greater usage' than those that only close half a day a week.

The nine sites will generally open slightly later in the morning and some are set to close earlier, mainly at weekend evenings.

A 'comprehensive consultation' involving more than 4,000 users and non-users of libraries was also carried out ahead of the decision, LiveWire says.

A total of 46 per cent of people who responded to a survey said they now get their books via the internet or other ways rather than libraries and that 'library times needed to compliment today's lifestyle and provide more digital services'.

Woolston Neighbourhood Hub Library and Burtonwood Library will be unaffected by the changes and no changes will be made to the e-library service which allows members to access eBooks and a range of free online reference materials 24 hours a day.

Emma Hutchinson, managing director of LiveWire, said: "We are currently trialling slightly reduced opening hours at nine of our libraries across the town.

"We have carried out a detailed review of the current usage of the service and have made the changes when each library is at its quietest in order to impact as few users as possible.

"The review showed us that despite not opening on Wednesdays, Stockton Heath is one of our busiest libraries with the highest number of book issues across the town.

"It is hoped that by reducing our opening times, we will be able to provide a more efficient service when libraries are at their busiest and improve investment in books and technology."

The adjustment to library opening hours requires changes to working hours for staff.

The organisation is discussing options to minimise the impact through a combination of measures such as reducing hours by agreement, exploring redeployment opportunities into other roles across the company and working flexibly across sites.

For further information and to view the new opening times visit