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Number 10 Downing Street

The official site of the British Prime Minister's Office

Community Supported Libraries

Community Supported Libraries (PA Copyright)What is it?

Local Authorities have a statutory duty to provide a “comprehensive and efficient” public library service to meet the local needs in your area.  Local Authorities are being creative about how resources can be managed in an efficient way to meet the needs of users of the public library service.

One option that is being considered is how a community supported library may assist a local area. 

Community supported libraries are able to offer many benefits including the following:

  • local authorities: the opportunity to maintain or increase library services within an area, whether urban or rural
  • communities: the opportunity for communities to influence their local provision
  • users: continued access, and in some cases increased or improved access to library services when library buildings may  otherwise have closed.  They meet the needs of people who want access to information, books and other media, including the internet, and who value the civic space for study, learning, reading or simply meeting others. 

How can I get involved?

  • Anyone can give their time and we all have skills and experiences that could help others and our community.
  • Contact your local authority and ask them if community supported libraries are, or will be, part of their plan for providing a library service in your area.  If so ask them how to get involved.
  • Ask your local authority what services it is able to continue to provide to your library, such as access to book stock, training and library equipment. Check whether there are any other costs associated with these services that the local community would have to meet.
  • Many local authorities will have information on the library service on their website.

Where can I find out more?