Libraries in Somerset Libraries change lives
Libraries provide a safe, welcoming space for everyone who lives, works or visits our county. They work at the heart of their communities and respond to a wide range of needs and interests to improve people’s quality of life. Our libraries promote the power of reading, offering social spaces, learning opportunities, access to quality information, health and wellbeing zones, a chance to explore new technologies, and a varied programme of events and activities for all ages.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and expertise of our teams, working across 32 libraries, one distribution centre, one mobile library and one outreach vehicle, we’re constantly developing our libraries to reflect the needs and wants of the community they’re part of. We’re always keen to meet new people who enjoy working with the public, helping to make a difference to people’s lives. We’ve recently launched a Customer Service Apprenticeship at our largest libraries and, very soon, we’re hoping to roll out a newly created Level 3 Library, Information and Archive Services Assistant Apprenticeship standard.
Our library teams
Libraries Development Team
We provide a development lead for the service responding to national, and regional initiatives, including wider partnership working and external funding projects. We also support all training and development needs.
LibrariesWest and Bibliographical
Somerset is the lead authority of a consortium of 7 library services. Library users can visit and borrow from any library within the consortium area. The team support a joint Library Management system across a network of around 150 libraries; a shared digital service; and a shared Bibliographic Services Unit which procures and processes library materials.
We supervise frontline staff across the county, each responsible for a group of libraries.
Library Outreach Officers
We support frontline teams to connect and engage with their local communities. We attend lots of different community events and venues to promote library services and build awareness and support from local groups and partner services.
Library and Information Assistants
Our large team of Library & Information assistants provide the first point of contact for visitors and respond to a wide range of library & information enquiries. They also deliver a diverse programme of library activities, working closely with the communities they serve, encouraging and inspiring a joy of reading for both adults and children.
The evolution of our libraries
To make sure that our libraries are places that people want to use, we work with a broad range of local and national partners. For example, we’re currently delivering a number of projects with young people across West Somerset, including a book-gifting project, Digital Dens and Library Hangouts after school. Our Taunton library (which has up to 1,200 visitors a day!) is home to the Glass Box, an inspiring community space where people can pop in and play and create using exciting new tech – like 3D pens, VR headsets and Raspberry Pi (tiny desktop computers).
Meet some of our team
Olly Hellis, Digital Development Officer
“I love being able to change people’s minds when they think about what a library is and what we offer. When I talk to groups about 3D printing, AI robots, VR, AR and so much more, you can see their whole perception of what they thought a library is change.
I’ve been involved in so many interesting projects – over a really short space of time. Like our 3D printing service, and Micro:bits, small programmable circuit boards which are available from all our libraries. There’s also Nintendo Switch Saturdays. Yes, we now have regular gaming events in five of our libraries and expanding each year.
We’re massively innovative. We really are. No idea is wrong. Anyone, from any department or area, is able to put forward a suggestion to help change the way we work, think and operate.”
Get in touch
We're always pleased to hear from talented people. So if you've got any questions about the opportunities that we have available in Libraries, or if there's anything else you'd like to know before you apply (or even during the application process), please get in touch with us.Email the team
Inside the council
Collaboration, hard work & team spirit – how we opened 2 new pop up care homes for Covid-19
A change of tack In Somerset, we’ve spent many years working to…
“Having the opportunity to be a part of someone’s special day is…
Don’t see the position you’re looking for?
Sign up for our job alerts, and be the first to know when a new vacancy is live!
"The council is full of supportive colleagues who encourage you to try your best. I really enjoyed building close working relationships with colleagues across the council. They’re proud to be a Disability Confident Employer, and every colleague's skillset and background is valued."
"The council offer flexible working and really trust their colleagues to work from home. Management is supportive and avoids resorting to without micro-managing. There are opportunities to develop with managers keen to support your career progression."
"Despite funding cuts, the council are working hard to ensure these cuts don't affect its communities. The organisation are open to new ideas. There is a continuing change programme with plenty of opportunity to develop yourself and your career."
"Salaries aren't as high as private sector, but the great benefits package does make up for that. The council offer flexible working and lots of opportunity to build a long-term career in an ever changing government organisation. If you like the challenge of continuous change, this could be the place for you."
"If feel that my work for the council is hugely valuable. That I am supporting some incredibly important services. The organisation is forward-thinking in terms of ways of working, offering good technology and working-from-home benefits, all underpinned by an understanding management culture."
"The council is a good place to work if you want to work part time. You have access to ongoing learning. Management on the whole is good. Everyone works very hard, focused on doing something worthwhile and helping professionals, and keen to demonstrate that they are offering good value for money."
"Working for the council is challenging and stimulating. Social Care is difficult but rewarding when the quality of the service can be maintained. There is a genuine culture of reward for hard work. Social Care is a changing and evolving service, and the council has a dynamic reputation."
"The council is a great place to work with lots of room to progress. They provide lots of training and you’re always kept up to date with additional training. I’ve learned a lot in my time here and really enjoy the reasonability that I am given."