The #LetsTalkLibraries phase one, public consultation has now closed. Thank you to everyone who responded.

What happens next

The following table sets out a timeline of stages for the adoption of the new Dorset Council Library Strategy.

Stage one 25 October 2021 Consultation Phase one of public consultation opens
Stage two 7 January 2022 Consultation Phase one of public consultation closes
Stage three February to May 2022 Development Development of draft strategy following phase one consultation
Stage four June 2022 Review Draft library strategy presented to Cabinet
Stage five August 2022 Consultation Phase two of public consultation opens, seeking views on draft strategy
Stage six Novevember 2022 Consultation Phase two of public consultation closes
Stage seven December 2022 to February 2023 Development Amending the draft strategy following phase two consultation responses
Stage eight March 2023 Sign off Final library strategy presented to Cabinet for sign off
Stage nine April 2023 onwards Implementation New library strategy implemented
We are in Stage one. Following an 11 week consultation with residents, partners, businesses and employees, we are now reviewing responses that will inform the new draft strategy. This will be consulted on in a second public consultation during stage four.

Keeping up to date

You can keep up to date on the progress of this consultation by:

Why we are updating our library strategy

Libraries are at the heart of Dorset’s communities, and we want them to stay that way. They provide highly valued services, including:

  • book lending
  • activities and events
  • reading groups
  • skills and learning
  • health and wellbeing
  • information provision
  • digital access and support
  • 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 8 community-managed libraries in the Dorset council area.

The current library strategy is 11 years old. Over those 11 years, there have been significant changes in public behaviour and digital technology, and the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic have been felt.

The updated strategy will look to the future of Dorset’s libraries and how can they best meet the needs of residents and communities, now and over the next five to ten years.

This first phase of public consultation allowed us to understand the views of Dorset’s residents towards their use of the library service. The consultation (which included surveys and targeted workshops) did not include any proposals for change, but it will allow us to better understand the issues raised and challenges faced by different groups within our communities.

The workshop and survey responses coupled with data and discussions with equality, diversity and inclusion partners will allow us to carry out a detailed Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) to help inform a new library strategy. The new library strategy will inform how we develop and deliver our library service over the next five to ten years.

A draft library strategy will be subject to another phase of public consultation in summer 2022. We will publish our supporting draft EqIA at this stage. Responses received during this second phase of consultation will allow us to further refine both our EqIA action plan and library strategy.

Let's talk libraries

Name: Library Service Team
Email: letstalklibraries@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Tel: 01305 221000
Full contact details