A future vision for Rotherham libraries

Published Monday, 13th May 2019
Person using services in Riverside Library.
Person using library services in Riverside Library.

Plans to ensure all Rotherham libraries are based in the heart of local communities are set to be explored.

Leaders at Rotherham Council are keen to ensure all libraries are well used, cost effective and responsive to the changing needs of customers, including using all available technology and resources.

As part of their vision the Council wants to ensure the services offered reflect the needs and make up of Rotherham’s communities. They want libraries to be recognised neighbourhood hubs aimed at improving the quality of life of local residents.

They also want them to be used to help inspire Rotherham’s children, young people and their families to enjoy reading and develop their knowledge and skills, giving them the opportunity to realise their full potential.

Now they want to hear the views of all library users, residents and families to ensure they have the libraries in the right locations and offering the right services which are beneficial to those accessing them.

Polly Hamilton, Assistant Director for Culture, Sport and Tourism said: “Libraries are an incredible resource and we want people to get the best use out of them. If delivered properly they should be hubs to inspire learning and there to bring communities together.

“We now want people to tell us what they use their local library for, and if they don’t use them then we want to know why. Perhaps they are in the wrong location, they are not accessible or people simply aren’t aware of the great opportunities on offer. Only once we have a clear picture of how people view our libraries can we make plans about how to deliver services in the best way possible.”

The Council’s Cabinet is expected to agree a recommendation for a public consultation, so people’s views can be captured. A further report based on what people say will go back to Cabinet at a later date with plans for a further consultation following any plans for changes.

The Council has also just consulted about the location of its current central library, which at the moment is in the ground floor of the authority’s headquarters at Riverside House. The Council wants to move this to a more central location near the markets. A further report on this is expected to be heard in the near future.