Looking to the future of the library servcies

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What makes a 21st century library service, and one that is relevant and meaningful to people living, working and visiting the Islands.

It will be no surprise to the 27,560 people who live in the Outer Hebrides that the think-tank for the Office of National Statistics discovered that the Outer Hebrides comes out top on the ‘Happiness Map’.

Part of that Happiness Map is made up of the services that we access. The Library Service is one of those services that helps contribute to a sense of well-being.

Libraries are community assets with six service points across the islands, and three Mobile Libraries to reach those in more remote areas, or who are housebound.

In the last year 11,151 Library members borrowed 112,314 books and 5,117 DVDs.

They booked 28,601 sessions on the free library computers and 207,301 people used the library to relax, read the newspapers, borrow books, search for information, use the computers, study, create new knowledge, enjoy children’s activities.

And 94 % of members are very satisfied with the service provided, with 91% think the Library Service is very important to them (Customer Satisfaction Survey 2013).

A debate is on-going at national level about how libraries should respond to the opportunities of the digital age, and changes in people’s lifestyles.

To ensure that the Western Isles Library Service keeps up with the times over the summer there will be opportunities to respond to this ‘big’ question and a number of others posed through questionnaires, focus groups, meetings and comments via Facebook.

Check out the Western Isles Libraries Facebook site and click on ‘Like’ and become part of the conversation.

You can also contact Trish Campbell Botten, Manager Libraries & Heritage, direct on: trish.botten@cne-siar.gov.uk