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Kingston Council to work with local communities to reimagine local library services

Reimagining Kingston Libraries is an exciting opportunity for us to work with the community to help shape your library service of the future.

From today (1 September) we will be organising various engagement activities, including workshops engaging with community partners, digital events and an ideas board. 

The transformational review aims to place libraries at the heart of the community and bring council services closer to residents, ensuring they meet the needs of communities both now and in the future.

For the past 4 months, our library teams have been working hard to support our most vulnerable residents through the Kingston Stronger Together Hub, while still providing access to library services online. During this time, they have delivered a highly engaging virtual events programme, created 175 original content videos for residents to enjoy and engage with, and reached more than 55,000 people on Facebook. Since introducing our Ready Reads book collection, the library teams have supplied more than 540 requests from Surbiton Library, and we are now working to introduce quick browsing in some of our libraries. 

Councillor Rebekah Moll, Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy and Culture at Kingston Council, said:

“Libraries play a key part in our communities. And this is so much more than just a place to borrow books - this has become more obvious while the buildings have been closed. We want the community to help us form a clear vision for the direction of our libraries - reimagining them as multi-use spaces bringing together a range of cultural and heritage services alongside accessing support for health and wellbeing, access to employment and reskilling. We want our library buildings to develop and support local communities, including enhancing our digital library offer.

“Reimagining Kingston Libraries is an exciting opportunity for the community to share their ideas for their future library service in Kingston; from ideas around using the physical space; what activities and events would be of most interest; support surrounding work and employment; ideas to improve the digital offer; and so on.

“Libraries are the heart of our community, and we are committed to developing the vision together with residents and other key stakeholders by gathering ideas and forming recommendations.”

The first phase of the transformation process will take place between 1 September and 21 October. Residents, library members, staff, partners and other key groups are asked to share any ideas on what the library means to them and what the library could offer through Kingston’s Let’s Talk Portal, or by calling 020 8547 6451 Wednesdays 10am to 4pm.

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