A new era for Kingston’s libraries

Exciting plans to develop Kingston’s library offer were unanimously approved at the council’s Community and Engagement Committee this week (Tuesday 4 February).

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

A clear library vision will set the direction for libraries to be reimagined as multi-use spaces, hosting a range of cultural and heritage services. The use of library buildings will be maximised and the digital library offer enhanced.

Community engagement will be central to the review, as well as learning from best sector practice across the UK and internationally. A detailed community engagement plan will be taken to the Community and Engagement Committee in March 2020. The review will run from May-September 2020, with recommendations going back to the Community Engagement Committee in November 2020.

The service has undergone significant change in recent years. Since 2016, £474k has been invested in re-modelling our seven libraries and implementing self-service technology.

Our libraries offer books in a number of languages, DVDs, spoken word CDs, e-books and a wide range of activities and events. Between April 2018 to March 2019 the number of items issued in Kingston libraries reached 640,293, with 550,150 physical visits and 157,195 virtual visits recorded during this period.

Read more about the plans on our website or watch the webcast.