Help shape the future of libraries in Westminster

Date: 
Fri, 29/03/2019

We want the best future for our libraries and for them to be strengthened to best serve the community. While 95% of users are happy with our library services, the changing role of libraries and local government funding pressures means we need to think differently about how to make our libraries resilient, while preserving their proud history and unique identity.

We want to hear from the community, users and staff to help create a plan of action, that will open up our libraries to deliver more for future generations.

A view from the experts

As a first step, we established an independent board of national-level experts to provide us with their view on what they thought were some of the issues we face today.

Their report, Connecting Libraries, includes key recommendations they have proposed as possible ways to create a sustainable future for our libraries:

  • expand current reading, digital and business support programmes, independently and with partners, to help make Westminster a City of Opportunity
  • develop the commercial strategy to introduce greater resilience, and use the accessibility of libraries as a place people can access a wider range of council services
  • foster community spirit, connectedness and shared experiences to tackle loneliness and social isolation, working in partnership with adult social care and becoming a visible advocate of a caring and fairer city by becoming a national benchmark for accessible service provision
  • become a key resource for social prescribing and referrals, partnering with other services and professionals to promote positive behaviours and helping to make a healthier and greener city
  • be the city’s focal points for celebrating citizenship, heritage, and community-based art and culture.

You can read the full independent report here or you can read the summary here.

Appendices for the report:

What do you think?

Our libraries are at the heart of the Westminster community. We want our residents to play a crucial role in designing, shaping and delivering their neighbourhood library to create a place providing support and lifelong learning opportunities and to help people to connect with the world around them.

To start this conversation, there will be a series of opportunities, both face-to-face and online, to share those views. Details will be published on this page in due course.

If you would like to play a part in shaping this plan, please email communications@westminster.gov.uk, or write to us with your name and telephone number at:

Communications Team – Libraries Review
Westminster City Council
64 Victoria Street
SW1E 6QP

Last updated: 4 April 2019