|Written in partnership with communities
The Royal Borough’s libraries are starting an exciting new chapter this month – thanks to closer partnership working between the council and communities to deliver sustainable and accessible services that meet residents’ needs.
All 11 permanent library buildings are staying open under revised operating timetables, agreed with parishes and partners, and informed by patterns of service usage, that take effect from Monday 27 September. Accessibility of the service is further bolstered by an expanded Select and Deliver/Home Library Service led by dedicated local volunteers.
Thanks to opportunities identified through an extensive public consultation earlier this year, residents will continue to benefit from a comprehensive and efficient library service that meets people’s needs, drives aspiration and remains available to everyone, including the most vulnerable.
The council is working with parish councils, community groups, trusts and volunteers to deliver the service in a more resilient and viable way, retaining a strong physical library provision, supported by an expanded home delivery service, plus a digital offer including e-books, magazines, newspapers, films, music and training courses.
The 12-week consultation on the Library Transformation Strategy included 38 engagement sessions, including public sessions and those with parish councils, trustees and other stakeholders. More than 1,000 responses were received. A comprehensive needs analysis was also undertaken to help inform the final recommendations. Cabinet adopted the Strategy at a meeting in June 2021.
The council would like to thank the parish councils and other community partners for their support, including the Trustees of Sunninghill Reading Room and the Ascot Durning Trust.
Expanded home delivery service
The Select and Deliver Service expands upon our long-standing Home Library Service and ensures the library continues to come to those individuals and communities who can’t come to the library themselves. The service enables readers to reserve their books over the phone, by email or online. These are then selected from the shelves by library staff and delivered conveniently to doorsteps by dedicated local library volunteers. The books are later collected and returned by the volunteers.
Select and Deliver replaces the Mobile Library and is aimed at residents who cannot access a static library, owing to disability/illness, or because they are full-time carers, or do not have personal means of transportation. Existing Mobile Library customers have already been contacted and are being matched with Select and Deliver local library volunteers in their area.
New customers can mobile.library
The container library will eventually be retained in Wraysbury however it will continue to visit all four sites (Holyport, Furze Platt, Sunningdale and Wraysbury) for the time being while we continue to explore options for those served by the Container Library.
The Library Service is always seeking further friendly volunteers to get involved and we are very grateful for the support. You will be able to volunteer flexibly so that it fits with other commitments while getting the satisfaction of meeting new people and making a difference by helping to improve someone’s quality of life.
To apply to volunteer for the Select and Deliver/Home Library Service, please email volunteers.library