Your Library Services. Your Say

Closes 21 Mar 2018

Opened 21 Feb 2018


In 2016 we consulted on changes to the library service. Many of these changes were introduced from 2017 and enabled us to save £290,000 from the library service budget.

We are now launching a further consultation.

Why We Are Consulting

We know that for people who use library services, they remain important. We also know that the way people use libraries is changing.

People used to rely on their local libraries to access books for information, today people have more choice, ranging from e-books to internet access. Users can even download e-books or order books without stepping foot in a library. Many of you make good use of the free IT and internet now provided at the Borough libraries. You have also told us how much you value free events and activities which the Library Service offers, like Rhymetime for example which supports the development of early reading skills. 

At the same time, every local Council is having to make major savings as a result of Government cuts in funding and increasing demands for services. We therefore need to prioritise the use of our limited resources across the Council, including those used to deliver library services in Reading. Due to the scale of savings required, these cannot be met through back-office efficiencies alone. The Council is therefore considering ways to save more money from both the universal services for everyone in the town, and specialist services that are targeted to the most vulnerable, including older people, residents with learning disabilities, and children who need our protection or are looked after by us.

We have already made major savings by making the library services more efficient through making better use of technology such as the self service kiosks and changing operating systems. Another way our libraries can contribute towards savings is to make the best possible use of available space and we have already consulted on some plans to bring libraries together with other services in new community centres or ‘hubs’.

Reading Borough Council wants to sustain an affordable but comprehensive library service. We need your feedback to help us achieve that. The proposals here in total would save £220,000 of the library budget.

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