Dorset Council is continuing the modernisation of its libraries with the next phase of its library action plan now underway.

This stage of the council's library strategy is aiming to ensure employees feel 'valued and empowered' with career opportunities made available to them. 

It will develop flexible resourcing across its library network to allow staff to develop a range of skills and experiences.

This will involve the production of a workforce development plan to utilise library employee's strengths with shared learning and rotation throughout its 23 libraries and eight community-managed libraries.

READ: Dorset Council's draft library strategy reaches next stage

Apprenticeship programmes will also be offered in time to develop library employees, along with pathways to employment, work experience and other national initiatives which build relevant skills for the service and for careers within the council.

Further opportunities to promote volunteering in the library service will also be explored as well as building strong relationships with those volunteers.

Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council's portfolio holder for culture and communities, said: "Libraries make a real difference to the lives of people in Dorset, from Rhyme Time for toddlers to digital literacy lessons for the elderly.

"The new strategy seeks to provide Dorset communities with a library service that is modern, sustainable and accessible. 

"This latest phase of the action plan, where we work directly with library colleagues who deliver these services to the public, is vital.

"Our workers need to be given support to ensure our library service is fit for the future, empowering them to make the necessary changes to best meet the needs of our customers and communities.

"I'm also looking forward to working with our brilliant libraries colleagues to explore how we can develop and nurture the wealth of skills and talent we already have in the service."

The Dorset Council Library Strategy has been adopted using over 12,000  responses to two extensive public consultations, as well as a needs assessment.

It was adopted in July 2023, and it looks to the future of Dorset's libraries and how they can meet the needs of residents and communities over the next 10 years.

The strategy was created in collaboration with customers, local communities, employees, businesses, partners, and councillors, with no proposed closures or reductions in overall operating hours.

The changes, including the previously proposed opening hours, will start to come into effect next summer, and will be communicated to residents prior to changing.

For more information a copy of the library strategy , proposed opening hours and action plan can all be found on Dorset Council's website at