Derby City Libraries


Project description

This case study illustrates the development of libraries in Derby City. Derby City libraries are local community facilities which draw users from within a one mile catchment area. The city council provides a number of library facilities which are on the same site as other services. They include:

  • Alvaston library which is also co-located with Derby Homes
  • Derwent Community Library which is located within the Revive Healthy Living Centre. It opened in March 2007  
  • Pear Tree library provides office space for local members of the Neighbourhood Services Team, part of the Derby Community Safety Partnership
  • Springwood library which is located within the Springwood Leisure Centre. This library opened in December 2008 as the second phase of project that began with an extension to the existing leisure centre.
  • The council will replace the ageing Chaddesden library with a newly built library in 2012. The new library will also provide an office for locally-based police officers. 

Aims and objectives

The overall objective of co-location has been to help secure the long-term future of the libraries through aligning the service with the strategic priorities of the city council and the local strategic partnership.

Services offered

The facilities provide standard library services, including the loan of standard print books, large print books, newspapers and magazines, audio books, music CDs, DVDs, access to the internet and word processing.

Facilities co-located with Derby Homes provide local housing offices, interview facilities and drop-in suites.

Springwood Leisure Centre includes a fitness gym, sports hall and a range of sports facilities.

Benefits of co-location

  • Creates additional footfall and allows the residents who would not otherwise enter a library to experience the services that are available
  • Opportunity to attract new library users
  • Provides a tangible demonstration of how libraries can contribute towards the priorities of both the city council and the local strategic partnership
  • Raises profile of libraries with councillors and senior officers of the city council, and potential partners within the wider community
  • Financial benefits through shared building costs such as rates, utilities
  • Opportunity to provide additional libraries in locations that would otherwise not be viable
  • Opportunity to embed libraries within local communities
  • Opportunities for partners to mutually support and promote one another and share learning.

Success factors

  • A corporate environment that actively encourages joined-up thinking and working
  • Library management and staff prepared to look beyond their professional interests to see the big picture
  • Library management and staff with a positive, flexible approach to partnership working
  • Library management prepared to take risks and embrace change
  • A desire from all parties for tangible benefits for all partners.
  • Risk factors
  • Relying too much on one partner
  • Core users and traditionally-oriented staff may see the additional services provided as disruptive or as a distraction
  • Building and maintaining partnerships is time consuming, and benefits may take many months or even years to realise.

Business/operational model

The business/operational models are unique to each building. The approach taken by Derby City libraries is essentially pragmatic. Once the principle of co-location and partnership working has been accepted, the solution varies from library to library across the city in line with local circumstances.

This arrangement has given the city council time to adjust its spending patterns to meet the budgetary implications of opening a new library.

Financing and delivery/procurement

The new facilities have been created through a range of funding sources, including corporate capital budgets and New Deal for Communities funding. Further details on individual library development schemes can be obtained from Derby City Council through the contact details below.

Measurement and monitoring

The performance of an individual library is measured by a range of mechanisms and nationally recognised performance indicators. These include factors such as visitor numbers, registered users and user satisfaction.


Contact details

Derby City Council
Council House
Corporation Street
Derby DE1 2FS
T: 01332 293111


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