A year on from partnering with Greenwich Leisure Limited, Lincolnshire County Council have revealed that the county’s libraries are thriving.
Positive strides have been made in improving the look and feel of local libraries, increasing footfall, book issues and activities across the county’s 15 core sites and 40 community hubs.
Greenwich Leisure Limited – GLL, a leisure charitable social enterprise – was awarded the five year libraries contract (with an optional five year extension) in April 2016.
Its mandate was to improve the service, make the best use of resources and ensure sustainability in the long term.
1.76 million visits were made to the county’s libraries in the 12 months to April 2017.
Moreover, popular activities such as messy mornings, knit and natter, and kids coding clubs saw attendance rise by 171% between April 2016 and January 2017.
National library and literary promotions including Harry Potter Book Night and Where’s Wally’s 30th Anniversary boosted community engagement and allowed staff and customers to show their creative side with artistic window displays and costumed events.
Meanwhile, the Roald Dahl-themed 2016 Summer Reading Challenge saw staff double the usual number of activities delivered in core libraries and as a result there was a 30% increase in participation compared with 2015.
In addition, GLL’s Annual User Survey in July 2016 showed satisfaction amongst Lincolnshire library users at 99%.
Cllr Nick Worth, Executive Member for Libraries, said of the partnership: “It’s given local libraries a shot in the arm, and I think that’s reflected by the way our communities have embraced the service.
Diana Edmonds MBE, Head of Libraries at GLL, added: “One year on, these results are a real boost for the library service in Lincolnshire.”