Library Review: Report to Cabinet

Mother and young child look at books on the library shelf


As part of wider savings measures affecting every aspect of its work, Waltham Forest Council is consulting on the future of its Library and Information Service. The Council values libraries highly and wants to continue providing the best service possible, but in the future we will need to do this with less money.

The consultation set out the changes which the Council is proposing and asked for your views on them.

Full details of our proposals, including a full needs assessment, strategic review and development plan are available for reference below.

Report and papers for Cabinet 14 June 2011

The report to June Cabinet can be found below:

The Council has a statutory duty (under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964) to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service to residents and those who work or are in full-time education in the borough (though the service may be provided to any other group). To ensure this duty is met, the review of the Library and Information Service was divided into three key stages:

  • Completion of a needs assessment, which describes local needs for a Library and Information Service, including the general and specific needs of adults and children who live, work and study full time in the borough
    Appendix A: Needs assessment (5.3MB PDF file)
  • Addendum to the Needs Assessment
    The previously published needs assessment included some provisional year-end figures. The needs assessment committed to republishing these once the usual year-end processes had been gone through and figures were finalised.
    This has now happened and the final figures for visits, issues, active borrowers, cost per visit, cost per issue, cost per active borrower and end of year budget are shown within this document: (3.1MB PDF file)
  • Development of a strategic review which sets out a new vision, objectives and service model for the Library and Information Service taking account of local needs and available resources
    Appendix B: Strategic Review (229KB PDF file)
  • Production of a development plan, which sets out proposals for implementing the strategic review in practice
    Appendix C: Development Plan (416KB PDF file)

Additionally, a Consultation Plan for the Library Service and an Equalities Analysis have been developed to ensure that residents and other library users are consulted on the proposals and that this engages with all the diverse communities in the borough.

An additional Equalities Analysis covers the equality implications of the review proposals themselves and forms to the Cabinet report. This equality analysis is intentionally provisional. A finalised equality analysis will be produced after the consultation period is over and finalised proposals for the Library and Information Service are prepared for submission to Cabinet.

Additionally, the following background information and evidence to the preliminary findings of the review have been uploaded here for residents and other library users, in advance of the Cabinet meeting in June:

More information

If you have any questions about this consultation, you can email us at