The purpose of this review was to look at the council’s role in supporting and providing a library service in the borough that can be sustainable and affordable.
It meant understanding the social impact of libraries, the support they provide and the value placed on them by their users.
It includes realising the potential of new technology to provide a more flexible and efficient service, while reducing costs, and exploring alternative ways of providing the service through the support of volunteers.
Since the council’s executive agreed the new way of providing the library service in 14 March 2017 we have been focusing on key milestones for the implementation phase of the review.
We embarked on a procurement process to source a suitable company to provide self-service technology and technology-enabled opening in all of our libraries and have successfully awarded a contract to bibliotheca Ltd. We will now be working closely with them to prepare for and rollout to our branches. Binfield was the first branch to pilot new self-service technology from 2 July 2018 and provides users with a more convenient way to access library services.
The volunteer programme is well underway and we have received positive interest from a wide range of volunteers. Over 80 volunteers have been recruited and are already working with our existing staff to provide services. An early positive result of the programme is that of extended opening hours at some of our branches.
Streamlining of the stock management process has taken place to ensure that an efficient and modern approach to stock selection and delivery has been implemented.
We need our support to keep libraries open, if you are interested in volunteering please take a look at the opportunities available.