The new opening times for Dorset’s libraries will be coming into effect next week.

Dorset Council announced an update to opening hours as part of its new library strategy development programme to modernise libraries in the county. 

The changes come in response to community needs as members of the public were asked when they wanted libraries to be open.

READ MORE: Opening hours to change for Dorset libraries from July 1

These new hours were first published in July 2023 and are due to come into effect on Monday July 1.

Weekly staff hours have seen only a minimal change, at 630 hours instead of 631, and all previous services, information and support will continue to be available.

Dorchester Library Dorchester Library (Image: Echo photographer)

Following consultation with employees and union representatives, there will also be a new staffing structure.

Customer facing roles will now incorporate elements of dealing with wider Dorset Council enquiries to improve access to council services for Dorset residents.

The new staffing structure will allow people to apply for roles across multiple work areas and locations. The flexibility in the choice of roles and updated working patterns is considered to be positive. 

Aidan Dunn, executive director for Corporate Development said: “Over the course of 18 months, through our #LetsTalkLibraries campaign, we worked with our customers, communities, employees and partners to develop a new Library Strategy.

"The strategy outlines the library service’s contribution to Dorset and how we will support individuals and communities to be more connected and improve life chances, with a mission to ‘Inspire, Connect and Enable our communities through our services’.

“The last time our service was reviewed was over 10 years ago. Since then, there have been significant changes in what our customers want from their libraries. Libraries are now about so much more than just books. They’ve become community spaces offering a range of activities, information and support, providing easier access for Dorset residents.

“Our library teams are excited to welcome you during our new opening times.”

A lost of  the new opening hours and the full strategy can be found by visiting the libraries pages on the Dorset Council website: