TALKS between library bosses and volunteers have started as part of the controversial shake-up of the way libraries in Oxfordshire are run.

Meetings between the county council’s library service manager and groups of “friends” of the libraries have started taking place.

The talks will eventually lead in a shift in the balance of staffing in certain facilities by April 2015, with volunteers playing a bigger role to save money.

The council’s cabinet previously approved a plan to staff 22 libraries entirely with council employees, 16 with a staff half made up of volunteers and five others staffed one-third by volunteers.

In a report, the council’s head of law and culture Peter Clark said: “Conversations are now taking place between local groups and the library service, with some positive meetings so far.

“Solutions will be different in each case and worked out on a library-by-library basis, reflecting local need and local circumstances.”