Since its establishment, C.Co has developed extensive knowledge and practical experience of delivering consultation as a commission in itself or as an integral part of a wider commission. We undertook a Libraries engagement exercise on behalf of a Metropolitan Borough Council. Faced with the challenges of austerity, reducing budgets and mixed perceptions of its libraries the Council wanted to understand how individuals, residents, Members and community groups interact with the Council through its libraries, what the barriers to use might be and what type of service users would want to see in the future.
Using a range of methodologies, including questionnaires and focus groups the review identified a number of outputs and conclusions including:
- Current usage levels
- Barriers to usage
- Strengths and weaknesses of the Library Service
- A vision for the library of the future
- Public perceptions of the service
- Where libraries fit into modern life
The review provided a clear evidence base, as part of the Library Services review, to support the future development of libraries and their service offer within the Borough.