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Modernising Surrey libraries to be more accessible for all

Published: 20 November 2019

Libraries are more than just bricks and mortar

Good news for library users in Surrey, Surrey County Council (SCC) will be working closely with local communities to ensure library services remain open. Its modernisation will mean a library service will be maintained in each of the communities in the districts and boroughs it currently serves. Over a period of 12-18 months, SCC will be shaping proposals in collaboration with local communities, partners and users of the library service.

It is proposed that the following options are explored:-

  • Maximising the use of technology to ensure the library service is fit for the future. Introducing things such as digital swipe cards to extend opening hours – giving early morning and after work library access to suit working people.
  • Click and collect services could ensure that users of smaller library spaces still have access to the full range of books and can collect and return them at convenient places.
  • Investment in a Library Plus service – a service where some of Surrey's larger libraries would host other services in addition to providing the library service.
  • Many other libraries will stay in their current locations, but with an increased focus on offering services and activities which attract new users.
  • Some less well used and smaller libraries may well be relocated to existing community spaces - ensuring they provide the services and activities that the community needs.
  • There are currently ten Community Partner run libraries in Surrey that are successfully being run and managed by community partners with support from library staff and dedicated volunteers, and options for this will also be considered where appropriate.

Dave Hill, Director of Children, Families, Lifelong Learning and Culture at Surrey said "Libraries are more than just bricks and mortar, they offer a service to a community and that service will work best when it's shaped in collaboration with that community."

For more information about Surrey libraries visit the Surrey libraries webpage.

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