Services for adults - policy statement

Surrey County Council Libraries have an important role to play in helping individuals and communities fulfil their potential and enhance their self-reliance by promoting access to literature, information, e-services and learning, in all appropriate formats and delivery methods, through its network of libraries and through community based delivery where suitable and viable.

Where possible, access to resources, trained staff and technology based delivery systems will be provided free at the point of delivery.

Making library services available for all by:

  • Being committed to equality of access for all in the provision of our services and facilities
  • Providing an attractive and suitable physical environment in all of our libraries
  • Ensuring all staff have the necessary customer care skills and knowledge required to provide a service for all
  • Providing free access to computers and the internet for library members
  • Providing an interactive website for all adults where they can find information about library services and respond to staff
  • Providing an online library catalogue to enable searching for books and other library resources, from home and within the libraries
  • Making information databases available from home or within the library via the library website, including such resources as Ancestry, Britannica Online and Which? magazine
  • Providing a central information service to answer enquiries relating to library services or broader information needs
  • Providing specialist information resources such as Government Publications and Business resources
  • Providing specialist libraries such as Surrey's Performing Arts library for music and drama and the Surrey History Centre for local history
  • Providing a charged request service for loans between libraries both within Surrey and nationally
  • Giving talks about the library service to all relevant groups
  • Providing alternative access, such as Library Direct, for users who are unable to get to the library or use its services without support
  • Providing volunteering opportunities for the community to assist council staff in increasing provision of library services

Encouraging learning in libraries by:

  • Running free courses to teach computer skills to those who have no knowledge of computers or the internet
  • Holding charged learning sessions to help people get the most out of online resources and databases, for example Ancestry courses for family history
  • Participating in national promotions such as Adult Learners Week to raise awareness of the ongoing role that libraries and learning can play in people's lives
  • Linking with Adult & Community Learning and local colleges to encourage the use of library resources for continued learning
  • Providing study areas in libraries where possible to facilitate ease of learning

Help people to improve their health and wellbeing by:

  • Providing books and information to help people cope with a variety of life events (Life Matters) such as new job, pregnancy, addiction
  • Providing materials to support our aging population and giving them a better quality of life through the use of reminiscence materials
  • Working with partners to reach sections of the Surrey population and show them how the library can support them, for example Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender
  • Signposting users to external sources which support and expand on library services

Encourage the enjoyment and development of reading by:

  • Using professional expertise in the selection of resources for adults
  • Making available for loan a collection of over 2 million books, some in large print and spoken work material on compact disc
  • Providing access to a selection of e-books through the library website for downloading on to personal e-readers via home computers
  • Encouraging adults to expand their choice of reading by offering national promotions such the Man Booker prize and the TV book club
  • Creating reading lists via the library website to highlight areas of bookstock to encourage different areas of reading, such as prizewinners, self-help books, domestic abuse
  • Holding author events in libraries to bring the writing process to life and give people a chance to meet writers and gain an insight into their work
  • Holding reading groups in libraries where possible to help to make the reading experience more interactive and provide an opportunity for social interaction and books
  • Encouraging readers to leave reviews via the website to share their reading experiences with others.
  • Running workshops and competitions to encourage people to improve their writing skills in the areas of poetry and prose across various subjects and genres
  • Providing attractive and professional displays, linked to promotions, events or national schemes
  • Running reading schemes to re-invigorate people who have lost the reading habit, or to encourage those who wish to improve their reading skills
  • Supporting readers who are looking to improve their basic reading and mathematics skills by providing relevant bookstock
  • Publicising events, book awards and other items of interest concerning reading through the use of our website, facebook, twitter and flickr.

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