Help shape the Buckinghamshire Libraries’ vision and strategy for 2023 to 2028

Closed 15 Jan 2023

Opened 18 Nov 2022

Feedback updated 3 May 2023

We asked

We asked for views to help us further shape Buckinghamshire libraries – whether you used a library, or not:

  • your views on draft purpose, vision and 4 priorities
  • what you use libraries for
  • what would encourage you to use your library more

The survey ran from 18 November 2022 to 15 January 2023.

You said

We received 802 responses to the survey.

Views on draft purpose, vision and priorities:

  • 90% strongly agreed / agreed with the purpose and vision
  • 92% strongly agreed / agreed with ‘Culture and learning’ as a priority
  • 91% strongly agreed / agreed with ‘Access, information and inclusion’ as a priority
  • 87% strongly agreed / agreed with ‘Stronger communities’ as a priority
  • 84% strongly agreed / agreed with ‘Health and wellbeing’ as a priority

What respondents use libraries for, top 5 options:

  • 83% - physical book borrowing (including audiobooks)
  • 23% - borrowing ebooks (including e-audiobooks)
  • 14% - use library wi-fi
  • 13% - use public computers
  • 12% - work or study from the library

What would encourage respondents to use libraries more:

  • longer opening hours
  • use for more after hours events
  • improved stock of books

We also ran several engagement events to gather feedback and identify opportunities:

  • staff, volunteer and community workshops
  • stakeholder meetings

More information about what respondents told us is in the Buckinghamshire Libraries Strategy.

We did

At its meeting on 21 March 2023, Buckinghamshire Council approved the Buckinghamshire Libraries Strategy.

We used your feedback to:

  • update the vision and priorities
  • create short to mid-term objectives and how we will measure success
  • identify four key principles to deliver the strategy:
    • constant service improvement
    • engaging and empowering staff and volunteers
    • developing libraries as hubs – diversifying what libraries offer, based on local need
    • working in partnership

Feedback about what would encourage respondents to use libraries more will be used to help develop what libraries offer.

Buckinghamshire Libraries will work with staff, volunteers, and partners to develop a detailed action plan to achieve the strategy. This plan will be reviewed every year.


Buckinghamshire Council logo

We are developing a five-year vision and strategy for Buckinghamshire Libraries and we want to hear your views.

Buckinghamshire Libraries have changed in recent years in response to a number of challenges and opportunities. As a result, more services are now on offer:

Buckinghamshire Libraries include those managed by Buckinghamshire Council and community libraries. Some community libraries are managed by local community organisations and volunteers, and some are managed by Buckinghamshire Council and delivered with the support of volunteers.

We worked with staff, volunteers and partners to create a draft purpose, vision and priorities for libraries in Buckinghamshire. Together, they set out why we have libraries and what we think they should look like in the future (as well as how we achieve this).

Our new vision and strategy will be for all Buckinghamshire libraries.

To help us further shape Buckinghamshire libraries, we also want to hear about:

  • What you use libraries for
  • How you find out about library services
  • What would encourage you to use your library more

We want to hear your views whether you use a library, or not.

Draft purpose and vision

More Information

Our purpose is to provide free and accessible resources to connect communities and support learning, culture and wellbeing in an inclusive and welcoming environment.

More Information

Our vision is for all libraries to be welcoming and safe spaces for everyone in our communities to access services, information and tools they need to learn, imagine, discover and thrive.

Draft priorities

More Information

Ensuring local access to council information and services by developing libraries as Council Access Points (CAPs) and supporting our customers by signposting to organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau.

Offering digital access, with an extensive range of online resources and providing free computer classes and gadget days to ensure that Buckinghamshire residents are not digitally excluded.

Ensuring that we are an inclusive service by working in partnership with organisation such as Bucks Vision, Age Concern, Dementia Friendly, Autism UK and Bucks Disability Service and by identifying and addressing the different language needs of our communities.

More Information

Providing arts and cultural experiences in our libraries with author events, theatre performance, arts and crafts, poetry, writing workshops, exhibitions, music and so much more. 

The libraries culture and learning offer celebrates diversity, promotes inclusivity, values identity and contributes to an active local cultural economy. 

Promoting literacy and the enjoyment of reading with an extensive range of reading materials, early year activities (Bounce and Rhyme), reading schemes, book promotions, reading groups and project collections to support children in schools. 

With support for study, skills and employment by providing learning materials, study spaces, access to ICT, jobs clubs and information to support businesses.

More Information

Our libraries can make an important contribution to supporting the health and wellbeing of Buckinghamshire residents.

We work in partnership with health organisations to provide services such as health checks and stop smoking sessions, and have extensive book collections to support healthy diets, exercise, and good health.

We have a range of resources to support mental health (Reading Well) and reminiscence collections to support people living with dementia.

Libraries provide pop-up events to signpost and provide information to reduce health, social and economic inequalities.

Libraries are safe meeting places that provide social contact and emotional support to combat isolation and loneliness.

More Information

Buckinghamshire libraries are neutral, safe, welcoming spaces in the community, making them excellent venues for local activities which build cohesion, resilience, civic activity, and community safety.

Two thirds of our libraries are already delivered in partnership with volunteers and third sector organisations. We will position libraries as local community hubs and build stronger links with and through local community boards.

We want to hear your views on the draft purpose, vision, and priorities for the Buckinghamshire Library service up to 2028.

For more information about how we will deliver our vision and strategy, please see the vision and strategy infographic (PDF 0.14MB).

How to have your say

You can tell us your views in one of the following ways:

If you have any questions about this activity, please email us at or phone us on 0300 131 6000.

Please tell us your views by midnight on Sunday 15 January 2023.

What happens next

We will consider all the responses we receive. Your views and experiences will be used to help shape the Buckinghamshire Libraries Vision and Strategy for 2023 to 2028.

We will then present the draft strategy to Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet (decision-makers) in March 2023 for review and adoption.

Once adopted, we will host future engagement opportunities to help further shape what the strategy means to each library in Buckinghamshire. You can sign up to receive emails about these opportunities at the end of the survey.


We will use the information you provide here only for this activity. We will store the information securely in line with data protection laws and will not share or publish any personal details. For more information about data and privacy, please see our Privacy Policy.

If you have questions about data and privacy, please email us on Or write to our Data Protection Officer at Buckinghamshire Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF.


  • Amersham
  • Aylesbury
  • Beaconsfield and Chepping Wye
  • Beeches
  • Buckingham and Villages
  • Chesham and Villages
  • Denham, Gerrards Cross and Chalfonts
  • Haddenham and Waddesdon
  • High Wycombe
  • Missendens
  • North West Chilterns
  • South West Chilterns
  • Wendover
  • Wexham and Ivers
  • Wing and Ivinghoe
  • Winslow and Villages


  • Health
  • Children & young people
  • Culture
  • Libraries
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Communities
  • Adult learning