Our impact so far

Suffolk Libraries became an independent charitable organisation in 2012, and since then we've done amazing things for our communities. Read about our achievements over the past decade.

We're the charity that runs the county's library service in Suffolk. Since becoming an independent charity in 2012, we've done some amazing things for our communities, including:

  • Saving the NHS more than £280,000 annually through our free activities
  • Generating £2m of social value every year
  • Running over 90,000 events with over 1.3m attendees

And so much more! Read about our achievements from 2012 to 2022.

We've saved taxpayer's money

When Suffolk County Council was running the library service, the budget was £8.9m. When Suffolk Libraries took over the library service, the budget was £8.1m and we have seen gradual reductions over the past 10 years with council funding for 2021/22 at just under £6m. Based on the original cost of the library services, the new model has saved the council £25.6m over a ten-year period.

Find out about our strategy

We're at the heart of communities

We've launched many services and activities which reach out to help people in the community who need us. Out cost-of-living campaign will focus on other ways we can help people who are finding life difficult. We empower our libraries to come up with new ideas and was to help people based on the needs of their communities, from our Phone a Friend service to our Home Library Service.

See how we're supporting people

11 new libraries opened

Through working with the county council and other organisations, we've delivered 11 new libraries in Suffolk over the past ten years. New libraries have opened in Brandon, Debenham, Eye, Saxmundham, Needham Market, Mildenhall, Southwold, Moreton Hall. These new libraries help to encourage more people to make use of their library with improved facilities the whole community can enjoy.

Find your local library

25m books and other items borrowed

Books and other physical items are still a huge part of what we offer. Books help with wellbeing, bring people together for author events and discussion, and help to boost literacy across the county. We regularly curate and promote lists of books for adults and children covering specialist books for wellbeing and health and new and recommended reads to inspire the next generation of readers.

Browse our recommendations

We've ran over 91k events in libraries

We run hundreds of events and activities every week across the county. In our first ten years we’ve run 91,000 individual activities and events. Our activities bring people together and give people the opportunity and freedom to socialise, express themselves, learn new things and become part of their community. New ideas and events are being launched all the time!

Find out what's happening

Over 6 million digital downloads

We have one of the best eLibrary services in the country. Our eLibrary services were popular during the pandemic when physical books were unavailable, but aside from this we’ve seen a pattern of growth over the past ten years and there have been over 6m downloads in that time! The popularity of our eLibrary means that overall our library loans are growing year on year.

Explore our eLibrary

We save our customers money

In these tough times our libraries can be a lifeline for the thousands of people affected by the cost-of-living crisis. Everything we offer is either free or very low cost so regular visits to the library can save people a huge amount of money. Our libraries offer free Wi-Fi and computer access, free events, free loans and digital downloads, free advice and resources and more.

Read our impact report

We've improved wellbeing

Health and wellbeing is a vital part of what we do and underpins our vision and all the service and activities we provide across the county. We are a key preventative health hub, providing a wide range of activities and services which can improve people’s wellbeing or help them find help from other places. Independent research estimated that we generate £2m of social value every year.

Browse wellbeing resources

We offer life skills support

Our computers were used for job searching and applications, universal credit, research and homework at least 29,000 times in 2021/22. This free service assists people who really need to get online and helps to bridge the digital divide. We also provide regular drop-in sessions to help people with their tech and digital skills, and all of our libraries offer free Wi-Fi.

Book onto a free computer

We support everyone from birth to old age

Our vision is to make sure our library service offers something for everyone. We want everyone to feel welcome in the library and that it’s a place they belong. Across our libraries we offer thousands of activities, services and opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds from birth to older age.

Read our case studies

We embrace diversity

We're proud to champion equality and opportunities for everyone in our libraries. We believe in giving everyone a voice and celebrating the rich cultural diversity across the county. Suffolk Libraries was involved with Suffolk Pride 2022 and we showcase reading collections and resources for people to learn more about Black History and LGBTQIA+ issues.

Find out how we make lives better

We are a charity

Suffolk Libraries is a charity and life is very challenging at the moment. We rely on your support to help keep our services going and to keep innovating and adapting to local needs so we can be there to help people. It gets more and more difficult to keep this going so please donate and support us – it matters more now than ever.

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