Image of child reading a book in a library

Residents invited to help us shape library services in Reading

  • Reading Library Service Consultation Launches today, Monday 9 August
  • Residents can take part online and in person
  • Consultation event at Central Library on Tuesday 24 August

READING COUNCIL today launched a six-week consultation on its ‘vision’ for Reading’s Library Service. Residents are invited to have their say via an online survey and at consultation events taking place locally.

The Council is developing a draft Library Strategy for the next 3 years. The purpose of the strategy is to guide the service to further supporting our communities, being innovative and providing an excellent experience for everyone.

Unlike many local authority areas where libraries have been permanently shut due to budget pressures, Reading Council has retained all of its seven library branches and is fully committed to maintaining this approach by making the best possible use of its limited resources.

The vision for Reading Libraries is that they are innovative, accessible to all, at the heart of all of our communities and enhancing the lives of Reading people. They inspire learning and enjoyment, provide books, content and activities and help everyone to navigate the digital world.

The vision is underpinned by five key focus areas:

  • Supporting our communities as we recover from the pandemic
  • Helping Children and Young People
  • Improving access to online services
  • Supporting improvements in Health, Wellbeing and Literacy
  • Bringing arts, culture and heritage to library spaces

The Council is now inviting residents to feedback on these priorities. Residents are also asked to share how they use the library service, what is most important to them and what they would be most interested in using in future. They are invited to comment on Reading Central Library and the Library’s Home Service.

An online consultation launches today at

There will be a consultation event at Central Library on Tuesday 24 August between 11am and 4pm. This will offer an opportunity for people to feedback in person and the chance to ask questions about the library service.

Alongside the online survey and the library event, several focus groups are being held during the six-week period, with key groups in Reading.

Councillor Jason Brock, Reading Borough Council Leader, said: “We know our library service is very much valued by our residents. Despite all the challenges over the past several years, and notwithstanding the extreme circumstances of the last year, we have retained all of our library branches. We want to continue this into the future by making our service the best it can be and shaping it around what our residents want from modern, community-focussed libraries.

 “I’m also pleased that out of the challenge presented by the pandemic, positive developments from the last year have included us reaching new audiences with the library’s online service, including enhancing digital and free online resources, such as eBooks and eMagazines, as well as a range of eLearning resources. 

“As we begin the road to recovery, we now turn our thoughts to how the service might evolve to better meet our customers’ needs. We are excited by the potential opportunities and the role the library service could play in the wider success of our town. Our aim is to ensure the provision of a comprehensive, modern, affordable and efficient service for Reading which reflects local demands and makes the best use of our resources. 

“We’ve set out a draft idea of what we hope to achieve and what we think our priorities should be, but we need your help. We want to know more about how you use the library service, what you think of it, where you think our focus should be and what our future goals should be - for example, what improvements would you like to see in the town’s Central library. 

 “I encourage you to take part – online at or at Central Library on 24 August.”

 To take part visit:

The consultation runs from Monday 9 August to 17 September.

The results of the consultation will be available in the final Library Strategy Report going to the Council’s Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure Committee on 10 November 2021.


Notes to editors

Media opportunity: The media are invited to a photo / interview opportunity at Central Library at 11am on Tuesday 24 August. Please contact  if you would like to attend.