We know how much people love our libraries. We love them too.
You may have noticed the range of services we deliver has continued to change and expand over recent years to meet the needs of Kent’s communities. The way we deliver many of these services has also changed to reflect the growth of technology and new ways of communicating.
You won’t be surprised to learn that the pace of this change quickened during the pandemic. We had to adapt fast to ensure that we continued to still be able to deliver a library service. This meant:
• developing the digital services we provide (ebooks, 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 our befriending telephone calls, home library service and postal loan service
• developing our select and collect book offer which meant books could be selected and picked up at the library or mobile library front door.
We have now reopened all of our 99 libraries and mobile libraries with measures in place to ensure we keep everyone as safe as possible.
We know that the library services we provide are hugely valued by local people. The Libraries, Registration and Archives Strategy helps us to steer the service in the right direction. This is even more important 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.
Over the next few months there will be lots of opportunities to get involved as we listen to your feedback and invite you to take part in more activities.
We encourage you to subscribe for further opportunities to help shape our new strategy.
How to get involved:
There are currently three ways you can help:
• answer a few quick questions to help us understand if your use of library services has changed because of the pandemic
• tell us what Kent Libraries mean to you by clicking on the Stories tab at the link below
• use our Ideas board to tell us what would encourage you to use our services more or for the first time. This could be your ideas for new services or improvements to our existing services.
You can take part in any or all of these activities – it’s completely up to you!
Go to Shaping Kent Libraries to take part!
FROM SARAH HUDSON, KCC MEMBER FOR MALLING RURAL EAST