News: The Society's new website, esah1852.org.uk has been launched. Changes will be made to this blog over the coming weeks to improve user experience.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Searchroom Hours Cut at Essex Record Office

Announced this week by Essex County Council: a reduction in searchroom opening hours is announced from April 2017.  The reason: reduced footfall and the need to make budget cuts. Those visiting the searchroom are asked to complete a questionnaire to assess the impact of the changes.

Essex Record Office Searchroom opening hours survey
We are planning to change the opening hours of the Essex Record Office (ERO) Searchroom from Tuesday 4 April 2017. We are running this short survey to check that this change will not have too great an impact on our users.
The ERO Searchroom is currently open for an average of 34.5 hours per week. Under new arrangements, detailed below, the Searchroom will be open for an average of 25.25 hours per week. The new pattern of opening will still include some evening and weekend opening hours, and a week when we are open for five consecutive days. We hope in this way to still provide for researchers who travel significant distances to visit, or who cannot visit during regular office hours.

The reasons for making this change are:

·         Like all public services, the ERO is facing tough financial challenges. With reductions in public sector budgets, we are not able to sustain our current opening hours. We are working to reduce costs where we can, and to generate income to secure the future of the archive service.
·         With advances in digitisation there is less demand today for our traditional Searchroom service. More users access our records online from home, or make their visits to archives shorter by photographing records to work on at home. Searchroom visits peaked in 2002 with an average of 58 users per day, while in 2016 we had an average of 27 Searchroom users per day.
·         Budget constraints mean that we are operating with a smaller team. By being open less, we will be able to staff the Searchroom sufficiently to maintain service levels on days when we are open.
The new opening hours will be on a four week system, made up of one long week followed by three shorter weeks. The days we will be open will be clearly advertised on our website and around the building, and printed copies of a calendar will be available.
Week 1
Weeks 2-4
Monday
Closed
0
Monday
Closed
0
Tuesday
10:00-20:00
10
Tuesday
10:00-17:00
7
Wednesday
10:00-17:00
7
Wednesday
10:00-17:00
7
Thursday
10:00-17:00
7
Thursday
10:00-17:00
7
Friday
9:00-16:00
7
Friday
Closed
0
Saturday
9:00-16:00
7
Saturday
Closed
0
Total hours:
38

Total hours:
21
Average no. of hours per week: 25.25


All of our other services will remain unchanged.

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