Libraries shaping the future: good practice toolkit

This is a best practice guide, produced by the Libraries Taskforce, for chief executives and library portfolio holders, including how library services can support local authority priorities.



This toolkit, produced by the Libraries Taskforce is the first step in addressing a need identified by the Independent Library Report for England; “that more information needs to be available about the remarkable and vital value that a good library service can offer modern communities of every size and character”.

It sets out how library services can support delivery of a wide range of local and national government priorities. It also describes a range of approaches to delivering cost-effective library services.

This toolkit is currently in ‘beta’, that means this is the first version. During this beta phase, we will be continually testing and improving the toolkit. It may not work for everyone in its current state. If you think we’ve missed something out or you know of other case studies we should include please let us know using the feedback button at the bottom of the page (or any of the case study pages). Alternatively please email

Published 16 December 2015
Last updated 28 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Types of delivery models updated - text removed which is now covered in the Alternative Delivery Models toolkit (link also included).
  2. Changes made to: joint procurement, co-location, commissioning, exploring digital, income generation. Case study added on Manchester Central Library Development Trust.
  3. New case studies added - Understand Me: the communication library and Gateshead library service: working with jobseekers
  4. Case studies added: Fantastical Feat - A dance and digital project to inspire young readers, Wrexham libraries, Businessline. New text added in sections on: supporting people with dementia and mental health issues, supporting SMEs and new businesses, community cohesion, digital literacy, literacy and lifelong learning, children's language, literacy development and reading for pleasure, introduction on governance and delivery models, community run libraries with local authority support and commissioning - resources.
  5. First published.