East Sussex Libraries: The Way Forward 2022/23 to 2027/28
The updated Strategy for the Library and Information Service was approved by the Lead Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Claire Dowling on 13th December 2021.
All accompanying documents can be found here
In the light of the pandemic and the financial pressures for East Sussex County Council, it was decided to bring forward the review of the Libraries Strategic Commissioning Strategy 2018-2023 and to launch an updated edition of the Strategy from 2022/2023 to ensure the Library and Information Service responds to the changing needs identified and supports the recovery of our residents and businesses.
We have reviewed the progress of the previous Strategy and evaluated the offers, services and strategic outcomes delivered by the Library and Information Service. Key analysis including the needs assessment, accessibility analysis and property review has been reviewed. Importantly, we have considered any new data and research, and gathered information from external partners and stakeholders about the changing needs of our residents. We have identified those needs that can be supported by the Library and Information Service and where there is a gap in our provision. Based on these findings, no amendments have been made to the Vision and the four key priority outcomes for the Service. They continue to reflect the diverse and changing needs of residents and set a clear direction for service delivery. We have however added new offers to each strategic outcome.
Our Vision, remains unchanged: to provide a Library and Information Service that promotes reading and knowledge as a route to leading fulfilling lives, prioritising our resources and expertise to support the needs of residents and communities in East Sussex to achieve four key outcomes:
Key Strategic Outcomes
- improving child and adult literacy and numeracy
- supporting the economy
- better health and wellbeing
- increasing digital inclusion
This updated edition of the Strategy remains rooted in a robust evidence base which determines how best to deliver a needs-based library service through a commissioning approach. It is based on clear evidence of need, which enables the Council to prioritise the resources available for the Library and Information Service to deliver the best outcomes for residents.
The Strategic Outcomes were developed on the basis that library services can and do support a wide range of needs, directly and indirectly. They enable us to support the Council’s four overarching priority outcomes of driving sustainable economic growth, keeping vulnerable people safe, helping people help themselves, and making best use of resources in the short and long term, as well as enabling us to deliver the Libraries Connected Universal Library Offer which aims to connect communities, improve wellbeing and promote equality through learning, literacy and cultural activity.
Three underlying transformation principles also ensure that the library service works effectively. These are working together, promoting use of libraries and increasing our capacity to add value to what we do.
In order to meet need and provide accessible library and information services, we will continue to deliver our offers from our network of 17 library buildings, our eLibrary, website pages and through outreach activities in community settings. To increase access to books even further, we will provide free reservations so that people can reserve stock from across the whole catalogue and collect it at their local library, making the entire lending stock freely available to all residents.