What do you mean by community involvement?

During the public consultation on the future direction of the library service earlier this year, many individuals and communities indicated that they would be willing to get much more actively involved in their local library. They were also clear that paid staff were very important in ensuring the quality and sustainability of local libraries.

As a result, we would now like to try out different ways that communities can get more involved, which could help reduce costs of libraries, generate increased use and encourage communities to have a greater stake in their local library.
Some communities suggested the following ideas during the consultation:

  • Moving the library to an alternative community location to enable it to be open for longer and/or reduce the building’s running costs
  • Using volunteers to extend core library opening hours
  • Using under-utilised space in the library, or using the library out of core opening hours to generate additional income and increase community use of the building
  • Incorporating other services or facilities into the existing library in order to reduce the overall running costs
  • Establishing a Friends’ Group that fundraises and supports its library.

We are open to all ideas from communities about how to increase the community’s sense of ownership of their library. Community pilots will test out the different ideas that many communities have developed over the past few months.