Kingston celebrates completion of transformational £500,000 investment in libraries

Cllr pickering mayor of kingston opens the new look kingston library with the help of antonia and sophia

The Mayor of Kingston, Cllr Julie Pickering, cut the ribbon with two of Kingston’s youngest library visitors, celebrating the completion of the transformational £500,000 investment in libraries.

The half-million pound investment has seen state-of-the-art self service machines replace the traditional front desk in the new look libraries, offering more space and flexibility. The move has also freed up library staff to focus on promoting reading, learning and discovery, as well as providing information, and supporting customers to access the library’s digital resources.

Kingston’s libraries are bucking the national trend, with increasing numbers of people visiting the libraries as well as carrying out transactions online. Since reopening, the libraries have seen a 6% rise in visitors to libraries across the borough. Following the introduction of self service machines, transactions are averaging 88% across the seven libraries.

Cllr Julie Pickering, Mayor of Kingston, said:

“The first word I said when I walked into my local library was ‘wow’. A truly staggering change and one that has respected and kept the historical elements of the buildings whilst modernising the facilities, which is absolutely how it should be. I’m proud to have been able to officially launch the result of the investment in libraries and look forward to seeing the service go from strength to strength.”

Cllr Andy Johnson-Creek, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Libraries at Kingston Council, said:

"I’m delighted with the result of this transformational investment into our libraries. It’s hugely important that we promote libraries as spaces that are for far more than books, they’re hubs of community activity and the heartbeat of our towns. “The feedback from all seven libraries has been fantastic and there’s much more we can do now we have vibrant, flexible spaces in place across the borough. Watch this space!”

Kingston Library has undergone the biggest transformation with the children’s library being incorporated within the main building.