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Libraries play an essential part in local recovery and renewal

Posted on 01 Oct 2020

The role that libraries play in supporting local communities is numerous and varied. In the challenging times of the last few months when our buildings have been closed to the public we have found new ways of connecting with people, and the services we provide digitally have grown considerably. The period of lock-down has been challenging for all, but with schools closed for a prolonged period, access to information limited without an internet connection and unemployment rising there are many challenges still ahead.

As library buildings have reopened and mobile libraries returned to rural Devon, Libraries Unlimited has been developing a strategy about how we can utilise our unique services and facilities to support communities recover and ensure that no community is ‘left-behind’ as a result of this pandemic.

The Libraries Unlimited Recovery document sets out five strategic objectives to support recovery and renewal of communities and the economy. We have identified needs we aim to meet, and how libraries are already, and will increasingly meet them.

Our five objectives are:

  • Libraries Unlimited will support unemployed people and those starting small businesses in order to help the economy of Devon and Torbay recover from the crisis
  • Libraries are hubs for community development and regeneration in Devon and Torbay
  • Libraries Unlimited will support disadvantaged children and families in Devon and Torbay to reduce educational inequalities resulting from the pandemic
  • Libraries Unlimited is a trusted source of information for the people of Devon and Torbay
  • Libraries Unlimited will provide support to people in Devon and Torbay who have been affected by COVID-19 and/or by lockdown

This document is being used across Libraries Unlimited to guide our work and is a focus for our energy and resources. We know how valued our libraries are to their communities, and our annual report which will be published in a few weeks shows the difference libraries have made in the past twelve months. But with a global pandemic not over and many associated challenges still to face, it is essential we are clear on why and how libraries are responding and will provide a relevant and essential service in these ever changing times.

Read the full Libraries Unlimited Recovery document.

For all enquiries please contact

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.