Shaped by responses received in the first phase of public consultation, we have developed a new draft Dorset Council Library Strategy, with the mission: To Inspire, Connect and Enable our communities through our services

In the second phase of public consultation, we called upon residents, businesses, employees, partners and stakeholders to help us prioritise and explore what delivery could look like in our communities.

This survey closed on 22 December, thank you for your views.

What happens next

The following table sets out a timeline of stages for the adoption of the new Dorset Council Library Strategy. We are now in stage six.

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 Spring 2022 Development Development of draft strategy following phase one consultation
Stage four Spring 2022 Review Draft library strategy refinement
Stage five Autumn 2022 Consultation Phase two of public consultation opens, seeking views on draft
Stage six Winter 2022 Consultation Phase two of public consultation closes
Stage seven Winter 2022 Development Amending the draft strategy following phase two consultation responses
Stage eight Summer 2023 Sign off Final library strategy presented to Cabinet for sign off
Stage nine Summer 2023 onwards Implementation New library strategy implemented

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  ten years.

The first phase of public consultation allowed us to understand the views of Dorset’s residents towards the library service. Phase one Let’s Talk Libraries took place in October 2021- January 2022 and was an open conversation with our communities, employees and partners to understand what they value about our service, how we could develop our services, and how we can become relevant to non-library users. The consultation (which included targeted workshops)  allowed 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 allowed us to carry out a detailed Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) to help inform a new library strategy.

Responses received during this second phase of consultation will allow us to further refine our EqIA, its action plan and the library strategy.  


Let's talk libraries

Name: Library Service Team
Full contact details