Surrey Libraries the second most visited in UK

More than just books

It's all been happening in Surrey Libraries recently, with lots of great new initiatives, events and activities taking place across the 52 libraries across Surrey as well as having lots of new books to borrow.

Between April and May alone 828 library events took place across the county that attracted 18,002 attendees and 333 new library members.

This might explain why the latest UK Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) data showed that Surrey libraries are the second most visited in the country with 550,000 visits.

Heart of the community

Libraries are very much at the heart of their communities offering so much more than just books these days, they contribute to the health and wellbeing of our residents too. 62% of people surveyed reported that the library helps to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Whatever their stage of life, whether it's a new mum on maternity leave attending Rhymetime sessions with their children or older residents who see the library as their lifeline for social interaction. It's a place for a meeting of the generations.

Going above and beyond

Libraries have become a place for performances, workshops and exhibition spaces and offer vast range of services including free digital access for those without access to a computer. Here are some examples of what libraries have been providing over and above their core service offerings:

  • A year long partnership with Farnham Maltings has resulted in libraries being a space for some exciting creative events to be staged, exhibited and performed, extending the reach and accessibility of cultural experiences.
  • Ensuring that no one is left behind libraries have been the backbone of delivering Surrey's Period Dignity campaign with period products available to be collected for free or donated at all 52 libraries.
  • Libraries are there for all people in the community and have been welcoming families from the Ukraine ensuring books in Ukrainian and Russian are available on their shelves. Young Ukrainians have been able to take part in this year's Summer Reading Challenge thanks to translated materials provided in Ukrainian and Russian.
  • This summer during the Jubilee weekend there were 85 Jubilee events and 46 Big Lunches hosted in Surrey libraries as an opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate, to ensure everyone had an opportunity join up and join in with their community.

Sue Wills MBE Assistant Director Art, Culture, Heritage and Libraries said "This is just the tip of the iceberg! We've come a long way in terms of the diversity of services that libraries can offer. This is an exciting period of transformation for our much loved Surrey Libraries where spaces are re-imagined to deliver a place where social, educational, economic, and cultural activities can be made accessible to all in the community, often free of charge. It's not the physical building that changes it's what's happening inside at the heart of the building that changes."

To find out about all the different events taking place in Surrey Libraries follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit the Surrey Libraries web pages.

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