Croydon’s libraries review aims to maintain and improve the services and resources available, including exploring the possibility of using volunteers for some activities.
There will be a 6 week engagement period designed to get as many people as possible – from people who have never used a Croydon library to regulars, community groups and businesses – to give their views on how the service could be improved. These could include ideas such as developing the book stock or community-run libraries.
Accessible via the council’s Get Involved website, the survey will ask people:
1) If they use a library
2) If so, what do they use them for most
3) What they would like libraries to include in future
4) Whether they are interested in volunteering
5) If they have any other comments or suggestions
The focus groups will involve discussions with targeted audiences, including the elderly, young people and those who speak English as a second language. Once the results have bbeen analysed a report will be produced which will be used to help the council's cabinet shape a new Ambitious for Libraries plan.
Croydon’s 13 fully-staffed and supported libraries are visited almost two million times a year and their 400,000 books are borrowed nearly a million times each year. The council also co-funds Upper Norwood Library. In addition to more traditional services, the borough’s libraries provide free online resources including Wi-Fi, magazines, e-books, research portals and service information.
The council’s annual libraries budget is £4.6m and around 70,000 people are active users, borrowing books or using other services. Many more use the borough’s libraries to study, participate in activities and mix with others from the wider community.
The survey and focus group launch comes weeks after the council announced an agreement with the Upper Norwood Library Trust and Lambeth Council to provide new community facilities like classes and clubs as well as keeping open the existing library at its site in Westow Hill.
To take part in the engagement, click here.
The deadline is 2 May 2016.