Multi-million pound makeover to Stoke Newington Library is part of strategy to ensure Hackney libraries are fit for future
A £4.4m investment into Stoke Newington Library is part of a new library strategy approved at a Cabinet meeting this week to modernise the borough’s libraries service and ensure Hackney’s libraries are flexible, innovative and inclusive spaces that cater to the needs of residents.
The renovation of Stoke Newington Library will see repairs made to the roof and the fabric of the Grade 2 listed building, which was built in 1892 and houses Stoke Newington’s World War One memorial.
The work is part of a new library strategy focused on ensuring that Hackney libraries deliver a sustainable service that is fit for the modern digital world and accessible to all. The strategy approved at Monday’s Cabinet meeting includes plans to:
- Introduce partnerships with local organisations and national reading agencies to increase support for reading and lifelong adult learning.
- Improve the provision of help and information for people seeking employment and training opportunities.
- Transform library spaces into local digital hubs with library staff trained in digital skills.
- Develop access to digital resources and study space for learners and young people with a view to piloting extended opening hours.
- Establish libraries as welcoming community hubs and warm spaces to support residents by providing advice and information in a comfortable environment.
- Offer residents activities that promote good health and provide information to make informed choices about their wellbeing.
- Establish the role of libraries in the cultural development of individuals by building creative and cohesive communities where children and adults can immerse themselves in a vast range of art and learn from the borough’s rich creative and cultural industry sector.
- Offer more activities for older residents to volunteer, socialise and meet friends, to help tackle isolation and reduce loneliness.
The four-year plan was adopted following a borough-wide Libraries Review launched in April 2021 in which more than 8,500 residents of all ages and backgrounds described what they would like to see their local library service deliver in the future.
We understand the crucial role libraries play in our community. Our libraries are free to access, trusted places offering a range of quality services that are used by thousands of residents every year.
Working together with our libraries’ workforce – and taking on board the needs of residents – we have co-designed a new strategy and vision with a focus on addressing inequalities, supporting economic recovery, and enabling social mobility.
The strategy is a clearly stated vision for what the library service is going to achieve in the future and responds directly to what residents told us they wanted. It will ensure that our libraries continue to offer the very best service to local people for years to come.