Plan for Libraries: Our five key priorities

As part of our draft Plan for Libraries we want to ensure everyone is within two miles of a modern, fully equipped library that offers the same quality experience and facilities as all the others.

Some parts of the city currently benefit from much better library facilities than others, with some residents being completely without a local library service.

Many of our buildings are not fit-for-purpose and have little or no scope for improvement, meaning we cannot offer the services our customers expect and deserve.

By creating a smaller but better network of library buildings – supported by flexible and convenient outreach services – we plan to provide an improved and more consistent offer across the city.

There are five key priorities we will focus on:

Reading and literacy

We will continue to provide free access to books and literature and promote reading for pleasure. Through initiatives like the Summer Reading Challenge, Bookstart and Reading Ahead we aspire to raising literacy levels across the city.

Information and history

We will ensure that everyone has access to information and services to help them make informed decisions. We will continue to support the work of our partners in helping job seekers and provide business advice through services like PatLib. We’ll also preserve and ensure access to our history collections.


We will provide at least 12 computers and free WiFi in each library building, with skilled staff on hand to help people make the most of the internet and digital world. An active digital inclusion programme will ensure no-one is left behind.

Health and wellbeing

We will provide access to public health information, including signposting and referrals. Through creative and social activities and initiatives such as Books on Prescription, Memory Cafés and Feel Better with a Book we will contribute to the health and wellbeing of communities.


We will provide space, resources and opportunities to support lifelong learning for all. The Library Service to Schools supports learning in schools by providing quality resources, expertise and advice.