30/08/2022 - Permalink

Town libraries are focus for Barclays’ digital training and financial advisors

Related topics: Community / Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations

Two Shropshire libraries are supporting local people by opening up access to digital training and banking advice provided by Barclays Bank.

In a new initiative the bank will lease space at two of Shropshire Council’s libraries – in Bridgnorth and Ludlow – where customers can seek digital support, financial advice and help managing their accounts.

The non-cash banking service will be available in a private area in Bridgnorth Library on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and in Ludlow on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, beginning on Wednesday 31 August.

Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism, said:

“Barclays recognises the importance of local libraries to urban and rural communities and we were able to secure a commercial agreement to create dedicated space for the service in the two libraries.

“The role of libraries is evolving and we acknowledge the digital world is expanding. While we wish to maintain the established role libraries play in users’ lives, we also want people to go to their libraries to access a wealth of different services and activities which includes helping to build their confidence in navigating the world of on-line banking and digital transactions.

“This an excellent example of how this can be achieved.”

Shropshire Council is currently developing a new libraries strategy to enhance the way the libraries deliver services to ensure every location provides an efficient and cost-effective service that meets people’s needs.

Opportunities for co-location, where libraries will share space within other community locations, will also be considered to allow them to meet community need.

Changes to the current library service structure will also be explored, supported by a clear workforce strategy, to enable staff to adapt and enhance their roles to become more pro-actively involved in wider community engagement.

In support of these proposals it is intended self-service kiosks will be installed in all libraries, along with contactless card payments, and library opening hours will be tailored to reach people with the greatest needs.

Cecilia added:

“We are developing ways in which Shropshire Council’s libraries service can work with partner organisations to promote health and wellbeing, improve people’s understanding of, and access to, digital services, become a hub for communities, and support enterprise and businesses.”