The Royal Borough’s libraries are starting an exciting new chapter this month – thanks to closer partnership working between the council and communities to deliver sustainable and accessible services that meet residents’ needs.
All 11 permanent library buildings are staying open under revised operating timetables, agreed with parishes and partners, and informed by patterns of service usage, that take effect from Monday 27 September. Accessibility of the service is further bolstered by an expanded Select and Deliver/Home Library Service led by dedicated local volunteers.
Thanks to opportunities identified through an extensive public consultation earlier this year, residents will continue to benefit from a comprehensive and efficient library service that meets people’s needs, drives aspiration and remains available to everyone, including the most vulnerable.
The council is working with parish councils, community groups, trusts and volunteers to deliver the service in a more resilient and viable way, retaining a strong physical library provision, supported by an expanded home delivery service, plus a digital offer including e-books, magazines, newspapers, films, music and training courses.
The revised opening times are below, displayed at the entrances of libraries and available online at Find a library | Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (rbwm.gov.uk)
The Select and Deliver Service/Home Library Service enables readers to reserve their books over the phone, via email or online. These are then selected from the shelves by library staff and delivered conveniently to doorsteps by dedicated local library volunteers. The books are later collected and returned by the volunteers.
Select and Deliver replaces the Mobile Library and is aimed at residents who cannot access a static library, owing to disability/illness, or because they are full-time carers, or do not have personal means of transportation.
Existing Mobile Library customers have already been contacted and are being matched with Select and Deliver local library volunteers in their area. New customers can apply online at Select and Deliver / Home library service | Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (rbwm.gov.uk) or by calling 01628 796969 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Samantha Rayner, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for corporate and resident services, culture and heritage, said: “This is an exciting new chapter for the Library Service and one that’s been written in closer partnership with our communities, including our many dedicated volunteers.
“Through engaging constructively, together we have shaped creative, transformative, innovative solutions to continue delivering this highly valued service in a more viable way that still meets local needs and keeps open all permanent libraries under the revised times agreed with parishes.
“The Select and Deliver Service expands upon our long-standing Home Library Service and ensures the library continues to come to those individuals and communities who can’t come to the library themselves, meaning the service remains accessible to all.
“The Library Service is always seeking further friendly volunteers to get involved and we are very grateful for the support. You will be able to volunteer flexibly so that it fits with other commitments while getting the satisfaction of meeting new people and making a difference by helping to improve someone’s quality of life.”
To apply to volunteer for the Select and Deliver/Home Library Service, please email email@example.com
The 12-week consultation on the Library Transformation Strategy included 38 engagement sessions, including public sessions and those with parish councils, trustees and other stakeholders. More than 1,000 responses were received. A comprehensive needs analysis was also undertaken to help inform the final recommendations. Cabinet adopted the Strategy at a meeting in June 2021.
Notes to editors:
- Boyn Grove: Mon 2.30-5.30, Weds 2.30-6.30, Fri 2.30-5.30, Sat 1-4
- Datchet: Tues 2.30-5.30, Thurs 2.30-6.30, Fri 2.30-5.30, Sat 10-1
- Sunninghill: Mon 2.30-5.30, Tues 2-7, Weds 2-5.30, Thurs 2-5.30, Fri 2-5.30, Sat 10-1
- Old Windsor: Weds 2.30-5.30, Sat 10-1
- Windsor: Mon 9.30-5.30, Tues 2-7, Weds 1.30-5.30, Thurs 9.30-5.30, Fri 9.30-5.30, Sat 10-4, Sun 11-2
- Maidenhead: Mon 9.30-5.30, Tues 9.30-5.30, Weds 12.30-5.30, Thurs 11-7, Fri 9.30-5.30, Sat 10-4, Sun 11-2
- Eton Wick: Tues 2.30-5.30, Thurs 2.30-6.30, Fri 10-1 Sat 10-1
- Dedworth: Mon 2.30-5.30, Tues 2.30-5.30, Weds 2.30-5.30, Thurs 10-1 & 2-7, Fri 2.30-5.30, Sat 10-1, Sun 11-2
- Cox Green: Tues 2.30-5.30, Weds 10-7, Thurs 10.30-5.30, Fri 2.30-5.30, Sat 10-1
- Cookham: Mon 2.30-5.30, Weds 2.30-5.30, Thurs 10-1 & 2-7, Fri 2.30-5.30, Sat 10-1
- Ascot: Mon 10.30-1.30 & 2.30-5.30, Tues 2.30-5.30, Weds 10.30-1.30 & 2.30-5.30, Thurs 10-1 & 2-7, Fri 10.30-1.30 & 2.30-5.30, Sat 10-1, Sun 11-2