With all of Kent’s 99 libraries reopened after adapting their services to cope with the impact of the pandemic, KCC is now looking to the future.
It has launched a public engagement exercise which will help inform its next strategy and is encouraging as many people as possible to take part.
The county’s residents are being asked for their views on what they think of the library service now and how they would like to see it develop over the next few years.
The range of library services has changed and expanded over recent years to meet the needs of Kent’s communities and the way these services are delivered has also changed to reflect the growth of technology and new ways of communicating.
The pace of change quickened during the pandemic in a number of ways, including:
- developing the digital services provided (e-books, e-magazines and newspapers) and making it easier to join the library virtually;
- delivering events and activities online while still prioritising services to those most in need via its befriending telephone calls, home library service and postal loan service;
- developing its select and collect book offer which meant books could be selected and picked up at the library or mobile library front door.
Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “We know how popular the library service is with our residents, and I am extremely proud of the way our staff have worked so hard over the past few months to cope with the effects of the pandemic and restore the service to previous levels.
“We have now reopened all our 99 libraries and mobile libraries with measures in place to ensure we keep everyone as safe as possible.
“The Libraries, Registration and Archives Strategy helps us to steer the service in the right direction and this is even more important now as we continue to recover from lockdown.
“Our current strategy runs until the end of 2022, and whether you are a current library user or not, we need your help to develop a new one. Our early conversations with library users, residents and partners will be vital in helping to shape Kent library services for the future.
“I encourage as many people as possible to take part in this exercise.”
Residents who take part in the engagement will be invited to ask a few quick questions, explain what the library service means to them and outline any ideas they may have about ways to improve it.
You can find out more about the full range of services we provide at www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/libraries or ask in your local library.
Visit www.kent.gov.uk/shapingkentlibraries to take part online. Alternatively complete the questions below and return to your local library or mobile library.
If you have any questions, please speak to a member of library staff, email us at: AKL@kent.gov.uk or call our Ask a Kent Librarian service on 03000 41 64 38 (9am to 6pm on weekdays and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays).
Please make sure your response reaches us by 28 February 2022.
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