Suffolk County Council is urging the public to have their say on proposals for an improved Suffolk Records Office (SRO) service.
The consultation takes place between today (Monday, March 10) and Friday, April 4 and allows the public to share their views on the proposals which detail the benefit in reducing the weekday opening hours, improving the service on a Saturday and developing a key online presence.
SRO has listened to customer comments and explored a variety of options used by other services across the country to identify the most effective way of increasing the amount of information available online about our county’s heritage and history.
Through this consultation Suffolk County Council is seeking views on the following proposal:
· SRO branches to open for 35 hours a week offering full access to collections from 10am to 5pm on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
· On Wednesdays staff will concentrate on creating digital catalogues and scanning documents and photographs so they can be made available online, enabling many more people to make use of and enjoy Suffolk’s collections.
Councillor Rebecca Hopfensperger, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for heritage, said: “It is vital that these important archives are not only well looked after and accessible physically, but that the service also keeps pace with technological advances and customers’ expectations of being able to view records online.
“Suffolk County Council is committed to providing easy to access information for all those reaching out for it and I’m certain these new service proposals would provide continued support to serve current users, engage with new users and provide a service that’s more joined up with other heritage organisations and local communities of interest.
“Suffolk Records Office will then become the physical and virtual heart of Suffolk’s past, present and future archives supporting all those interested in the county’s history in their journeys of discovery.”
The county council believe that reintroducing a full archive production service on a Saturday and the proposed opening hours better reflect the times people are able to visit SRO branches and help improve the online offer.
Suffolk County Council value your views and encourage you to have your say by April 4.
“Your views will enable the county council to gauge whether these changes best meet the public need.
To have your say on the proposals, please visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/consultations.