Renaisi produced a report for Arts Council England that considers libraries situated in community hubs and provides case studies on libraries in England. Libraries explored in the case studies are co-located in community hubs.
The report aims to explore approaches, opportunities and challenges that can surface when libraries are attempting to co-locate with other community services.
The major findings of the report include:
- Libraries have been co-located with other services for some time, but is only now gaining real traction
- Libraries are often viewed with trust in local communities and this enables them to be well placed in community hubs
- The success of libraries in community hubs depends on local needs
- There are clear benefits for libraries, partners, services and the users themselves when they are co-located
- Challenges in the case studies were outweighed by the benefits of co-locating library services
Libraries featured in the case studies include South Woodford Library and Gym, which fuses library services with health and fitness services, and The Curve in Slough, which combines a library, museum, performance space and gallery to provide a range of cultural experiences. The case studies consider the co-location models, the authorities and organisations that run the libraries and community hubs, and their emphasis on local area and partnership approaches.
The resource will be of use to those working in library and community learning provision, in particular those thinking of co-locating or expanding into additional service provision.
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