Reading Libraries-4

Library Users to Benefit From A Further 495K of Investment

  • The award will benefit all of the borough’s libraries and contribute to three new self-serve library sites

Library users in Reading are set to benefit form a £495,000 grant which will be used by the Council to invest in a range of improvements at branches across the borough.

The Council will use the money to invest in technology which will improve digital access to books and the many services which are now available at all 7 of Reading’s libraries, including at the modern flagship new Central Library being built this year at the Civic Offices in Bridge Street.

It has been awarded by Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, delivered by Arts Council England.

Key improvements planned with the grant include:

  • Tablets to borrow and take home from every library, which are completely free to use – no need for additional data or Wi-Fi.
  • Technology introduced in libraries to host online/streamed events
  • Equipment for a range of creative activities such as microbits where young people can get hands-on with computer science and coding devices.
  • New library self-serve equipment in three community centres for the taking out and return of books.
  • Intelligent shelving that allows customers to check-in items direct to shelves.
  • Self-service lockers to pick up reserved items 24/7 at Central library.
  • Sensory and interactive tables and projection equipment at Central library.

 Donna Pentelow Reading Borough Council Assistant Director of Culture said: “We are grateful for the significant funding from Arts Council England that has been announced for Reading’s libraries, which will mean so much across our communities, library members and our staff.”

“Libraries offer a vital lifeline to local communities, providing services which span the generations and embrace the diversity of our local population and its wide variety of needs regardless of background or financial status.”

“They’re not just here to lend books, they are busy, vibrant, crucial centres of activity, supporting child and adult literacy, as well offering a variety of creative events for young and old.”

“The traditional view of libraries as a place to borrow books or a quiet place to study is being superseded by a growing appreciation that libraries are evolving and this significant funding will expand our digital and technology offering - giving residents even more reasons to visit.”