Above: Bolton's Learning and Employment Fair in September which was organised by the Library's Digital, Employment and Skills Team - a key example explored in Lorensbergs' high streets and libraries research.
Many of our high streets around the UK are recovering from the economic stresses of the pandemic. But while we’ve lost some familiar high street names over the past 18 months, other important anchors remain, namely our libraries. Lorensbergs has been talking to a number of library authorities and exploring the remarkable role they’re playing in the push to revive our town centres. We are delighted to be circulating our new research this week as we participate in this year’s Libraries Connected seminar with its related theme Libraries: An essential part of local recovery.
Libraries have a huge amount to contribute in advancing high street recovery. Their infrastructure, services and networks place them in a unique and useful position. Our findings from Bolton Libraries, Brent Libraries, Fife Libraries, Gloucestershire Libraries, Hertfordshire Libraries and North Somerset Libraries show they’re making a key difference. Working in partnership with other local government departments on combined approaches, they are undertaking exciting new initiatives and are often instrumental in securing regeneration funding.
It’s essential to capitalise on all libraries have to offer and ensure they remain central to strategies for urban renewal. They reach a wide demographic of users with an array of programmes offering help and new horizons. All they do is inspired and tailored for those they support.
If you’re attending the Libraries Connected conference, you’ll have the opportunity to see an early copy of the research before we publish it here later this week. Sharing ideas and ways of working, we aim to encourage more discussion of all that libraries can achieve. We hope you enjoy reading our research and would like to take this opportunity to thank all the libraries who kindly took part.
A copy of the research is now available here.