Dorset Council launches second consultation to shape the future of the library service

Dorset Council has launched the second phase of public consultation to inform how they develop and deliver their library service in the future. Library users and non-users are being asked to share their views. The consultation runs from 29 September 2022 to 22 December 2022 and is available here.

Libraries are at the heart of Dorset’s communities and provide highly valued services, including book lending, activities and events, reading groups, skills and learning, health and wellbeing, information provision, digital access and support, and art and cultural exhibitions. People of all ages can enjoy all of this and more, within a safe and welcoming environment. There are 23 council-run and eight community-managed libraries in the Dorset Council area.

The current library strategy is 11 years old and this consultation seeks to look to the future of Dorset’s libraries – how can they best meet the needs of local residents and communities, now and over the next ten years.

Over 7,500 responses were received in the first phase of public consultation, which ended earlier this year. Consultation responses have shaped a new draft Dorset Council library strategy with the mission: To Inspire, Connect and Enable communities through the library service.

Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for  Culture, Communities and Customer Services said:   

“We are calling upon all residents, businesses, partners and employees to have their say in this second phase of public consultation. Informed by views shared in phase one, the draft strategy identifies a range of services that the library service could deliver, some that we already deliver, some that we need to develop or expand and some entirely new services.

We now need to refine the strategy and we need you to help us prioritise and explore what delivery could look like in your communities.

We want to hear from everyone, whether you are an active library user, if you have visited our libraries in the past, or if you have not visited one of our libraries before. Your views will help us to provide a modern, relevant, and sustainable service, and I encourage everyone to have their say.” 

The survey will run for 12 weeks and will close on Thursday 22 December 2022 Survey responses will help to refine the draft strategy before it is presented to Dorset Council’s Cabinet for sign off in Spring 2023. 

In addition to our public survey, there is a dedicated children’s survey for ages 5-15 years and a survey for businesses, partners and employees. To find all the surveys head to: 

Support is also available via customer services where an officer can help to fill in the survey over the phone. Call 01305 221 000.  

Those who need paper copies of the survey can access these by visiting their local library 

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