The future of libraries is being considered in a new consultation.

Hertfordshire County Council is inviting residents to give their views on whether an "alternative delivery model" for library services would work in Hertfordshire.

One of the alternatives to be discussed is the potential for libraries to be run by a social enterprise or trust created outside of the council, in order for it to be able to access grants and other income which are currently unavailable and avoid higher non-domestic rates.

The consultation also raises the possibility of outsourcing the library services to a number of other potential managers, including a local authority trading company or a hybrid company created between the county council and a third party.

In the document, however, the council set out their intention to extend library opening hours and continue to rejuvenate the buildings.

Terry Douris, cabinet member for libraries, said: "Ongoing pressure on the county council budget means that we have to consider how we can continue to save money across all services. "In order to achieve our ambitions for ‘Inspiring Libraries’ within a reduced budget and put ourselves in the best position to grasp future opportunities, we need to identify the most appropriate way of managing the library services in the years ahead, and we welcome your views."

The Inspiring Libraries consultation comes as the council must reduce their spending on the service by a further £500,000, extra to the £2million already saved.

Findings from the consultation will be presented to the county council in spring.

Visit to put forward your views.