Oxfordshire libraries are expanding customer services for residents

Oxfordshire’s libraries are expanding customer services by hiring 50 new casual advisors who can help residents find information, apply for public services online and, of course, borrow books.

The investment in customer services is another sign of Oxfordshire County Council’s commitment to its library network, with all 44 libraries staying opening despite the pressure on local government finances, with a new library due to open this month in Barton in partnership with Oxford City Council.

Libraries will still be places to read and research, while widening their value to communities as places to access public services and take part in social activities.

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The new customer services advisors will mean the libraries can run inspiring events and activity sessions across the county. The council is to recruit 20 casual advisors to improve services at the County Library and other libraries in Oxford as well as 30 more to support libraries across Oxfordshire.

The new casual staff will make a real difference to helping serve the communities of Oxfordshire to people of all ages with activities that are both fun, enriching and life-enhancing.

Oxfordshire County Council has made it a priority to invest in its libraries over the past decade. This comes in addition to the refurbishment of Oxford County Library at the Westgate Centre and a replacement library site due to open in Botley.

Marian Morgan-Bindon, Service Manager Libraries and Heritage at Oxfordshire County Council said:

“Our libraries are local, accessible and full of such a broad range of opportunities. These are places you can explore, access online services, share ideas, learn languages as well as read. Our libraries bring communities together. Our Customer Service Advisors are instrumental in maximising the impact of our services as they continue to develop and respond to our changing community needs.”

We’re looking to make our libraries places where you can relax in warm surroundings, meet new people and be welcomed in to spaces where you can get involved in reading, songs, stories, craft activities and more.

Meet John who can show you how he plays such an important and varied part in the lives of people in his community:

“People have a lot of questions about public services and libraries do a lot of work with things like bus passes, the blue badge scheme for parking and increasingly, we are a front door for wider council services; that’s the important part of customer services assistance work. It makes a fantastic difference to a town to have a good library; we’re a little oasis of culture!”

Meet Molly:

“Every day is different at the library, depending on what day of the week it is.”

What kind of things do you do that people wouldn’t expect from work in the library?

“We do the story times, we do rhymetimes (with young children), we do craft sessions and prepare the crafts as well. We also make our own displays. It’s more creative than people would think. It can also really vary for what a person needs in the moment. I always recommend the job to my friends; it’s very adaptable, you can make it personal to you. Honestly, I think anyone could work here, enjoy it and make it their own.”

We want to hear from you if you are a people person, looking for a way of playing a key part in your local community. If you enjoy helping others, offering great customer service and want to bring enrichment to young and old, apply to join the library service and open the start to a great new chapter.

For more information and to apply, please visit our recruitment page