Library Services: developing our approach for the future

Cambridgeshire’s library service is growing and for our libraries to thrive and achieve long term stability, we want to transform them so that they provide more services and more opportunities to everyone.

Through workshops held throughout Cambridgeshire in 2017, we listened to community ideas and suggestions to find new ways to meet library users’ changing needs and demands and to generate income. The majority of those who attended these sessions were positive about the library service charging for services.

Using 'Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016 to 2021' published by the Government as our framework, ideas raised were taken forward to the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee for consideration.

At the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee on 13 February 2018, members approved a series of proposals to help begin the transformation of libraries. You can find more information in our latest news release. The report discussed can be viewed here.

Agreed proposals that will be introduced from 1 April 2018 include:

  • Co-location and delivery of more public services under one roof, giving people more reasons to visit and use their library. More government services will begin to become available through local libraries such as social care initiatives and online visa applications.
  • Introduction of a £1 hourly charge for computers: The first half hour will be free for everyone. Children up to 18 years of age will be able to continue using computers free of charge. Additional websites for government and council services (including universal credit, child benefit, etc.) will remain free to access. This will be reviewed again in September 2018.
  • Increase of prices and occupancy levels of the libraries’ meeting rooms and spaces to hire, to assist with upkeep of the library. Different rates for different types of organisations will be available.
  • Library Extra scheme: people who wish to financially support their library can sign up for this scheme and access some value-added membership benefits, for example premium member receptions.
  • Introduction of a wider and more varied range of regular events, including author talks or art events, that charge an entrance fee.
  • Increasing library charges and fees by 2.2%, bringing it in line with inflation  

We will publicise in advance - in libraries and on this website - details on how these changes will work in practice.

These proposals are the beginning of a long term transformation process and their progress will be monitored to ensure all of our residents (including the most vulnerable of library users) can still access all the library services they want and need. Keep an eye on this webpage for future updates.

Workshops on the future for libraries in Cambridgeshire

From August to October 2017, we started an informal discussion with library users and community groups on the future for libraries in Cambridgeshire through a series of workshops. To view comments shared with us from our workshops, please see our summary document below. 


All our workshops have now been held. Thank you to all who took part for your feedback and suggestions. The slides presented at each workshop can be viewed below.

Library Transformation Workshops
Presentation slides
Size: 936KBFile format: pdf

Review of Library Service 2015 - Public Library Consultation

In February and March 2015, we asked you what you thought about the County Council's strategy: Library Services in Cambridgeshire: Developing Our Approach for the Future. This strategy identified four key themes that are shaping the development of the service:

  • Building community resilience
  • Enabling more than delivering
  • Maximising the use of our assets
  • Supporting the "Digital First" agenda.

The public consultation closed on 15 February, the results of the consultation are available below:

Stakeholder engagement and consultation - closed 10 May 2015

The Stakeholder consultation period has now closed. Thank you to all those who responded. The findings of stakeholder consultation and the proposed Central Library Enterprise Centre, were discussed at the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee meeting on 2 June.