Edinburgh Future Libraries Strategy 2024 - 2029

Are you ready to shape the future of Edinburgh’s Libraries?

Please complete our online Edinburgh Future Libraries Questionnaire and keep reading for more information.

Edinburgh's Libraries

Libraries have always been at the heart of our communities. You might not know that the Central Library opened in June 1890 and was Edinburgh’s first public library building. We now have 28 libraries across the city, 23 in schools, a prison library, a mobile vehicle service and an online digital service. All are trusted, welcoming spaces where people can learn, participate, create, discover and have fun.

However, like many other public services, the library service has faced significant change in recent years. With technological advances, changing public expectations and increasing budget pressures, we now need to consider what the future should look like for our library service and how it can best meet the needs of our city’s residents.  

We want to explore opportunities to develop the service, to evolve and to be able to meet the diverse needs of local people and our communities, all within a balanced budget and this means doing things differently, more sustainably and efficiently.

Have your say

In December, the Council agreed to develop a new strategy and vision for Edinburgh’s Libraries to provide the framework for service delivery and development for public and school libraries over the next five years. You can read a copy of the full Report considered by the Culture and Communities Committee and the agreed amendments

To help shape the new strategy and inform future proposals for change, it was agreed to carry out an engagement and consultation process to gather views and feedback on service provision. We’re asking you to get involved by having your say and helping us to shape a new plan that will ensure the library service is sustainable and fit for the future.

Download the Engagement Plan for the Future Libraries Strategy Development, 2024 – 2029.

Download the Integrated Impact Assessments for the Future Libraries Strategy Development, 2024 -2029

We will undertake a two-stage process.  

Stage One – Engagement (January 2024 to April 2024) 

To identify what works well and how we can improve the service for all our customers.

Stage Two – Consultation (June 2024 to August/ September 2024) 

To shape the draft strategy and any proposals for future change based on the feedback we gather from stage one and available budgets. 

Decisions

A report will be presented to the Council's Culture and Communities Committee in October 2024, setting out our draft Libraries Strategy and any recommendations for change.

How to get involved 

  • complete the online questionnaire on the Council’s Consultation Hub 
  • complete a paper questionnaire and hand it in at your local library. Our library staff can assist those needing help 
  • look out for further opportunities promoted in libraries, on this webpage, and through social media.

Stakeholder engagement

As part of Future Libraries engagement there is a questionnaire specifically for our stakeholders. If you would like to be sent the link for this for your group or organisation please contact us at futurelibraries@edinburgh.gov.uk.

If you or any group that you work with would like support in participating in this engagement phase, then please contact futurelibraries@edinburgh.gov.uk or talk to a member of library staff by calling or visiting your local library.