Complete the survey

In addition to our public survey, there is a dedicated children’s survey for ages 5-15 years. You can complete this survey on behalf of children you care for.

We have launched a public consultation to inform how we develop and deliver our library service in the future. The consultation will be a conversation with communities, employees and partners, to better understand what they value and need from the service, now and in the future. 

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
  • 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. Over those 11 years, there have been significant changes in public behaviour and digital technology, and the impacts of the Covid pandemic have been felt.

This consultation seeks to look to the future of Dorset’s libraries and how can they best meet the needs of local residents and communities, now and over the next ten years.


How to get involved

Whether you are an active library user, have visited our libraries in the past, or have not visited one of our libraries before - we want to hear from you.

Let us know what you like, what you want to change and what would encourage you to use our library service more. 

Your views will help us shape a new library strategy. This will inform how we develop and deliver our service in the future and help us to provide a modern and sustainable service.

In addition to our main survey, there is a dedicated children’s survey for ages 5-15 years. You can complete this survey on behalf of children you care for. 

The surveys

In addition to these public surveys, we have a dedicated Employee, Partner, and Business survey. If you would like to complete the Employee, Partner, and Business survey please request access by contacting letstalklibraries@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk 

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.

Closing date

The survey closes on the 7 January 2022.

Prize draw

To say thank you to those who complete the survey there will be the option to be entered into a prize draw. For the main survey there is a chance to win one of two prizes, either a Kindle Paperwhite (8GB) or an Amazon Echo Dot. By completing the children's survey you could win a £25 Amazon Voucher (three vouchers will be awarded). See the prize draw terms and conditions.

Hearing from a wide range of residents

The Dorset Council library service is committed to ensuring fair, inclusive and accessible services for everyone in Dorset.

This first phase of public consultation allows us to understand the views of Dorset’s residents towards their use of the library service. The consultation (which includes surveys and targeted workshops) does not include any proposals for change, but it allows 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 5-10 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.

What happens next

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

Stage 1 25 October 2021 Consultation Phase 1 of public consultation opens
7 January 2022 Consultation Phase 1 of public consultation closes
Stage 2 February to May 2022 Development  Development of draft strategy following phase 1 consultation
Stage 3 June 2022 Review Draft library strategy presented to Cabinet
Stage 4 August 2022 Consultation Phase 2 of public consultation opens, seeking views on draft strategy
November 2022 Consultation Phase 2 of public consultation closes
Stage 5 December 2022 to February 2023 Development  Amending the draft strategy following phase 2 consultation responses
Stage 6 March 2023 Sign off Final library strategy presented to Cabinet for sign off
Stage 7 2023 onwards Implementation New library strategy implemented


We are in Stage 1. We are conducting an 11 week consultation with residents, partners, businesses and employees to understand what they need from Dorset’s library service. Responses gathered during this period will inform the new draft strategy, which will be consulted on during stage 4.

Public and stakeholder engagement is an important part of library strategy development. Involving residents and stakeholders allows local knowledge and expertise to be gathered from a wide range of perspectives.

Keeping up to date

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

Let's talk libraries

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

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