It’s worth reflecting on the huge importance that libraries have played — and continue to play — in society.

For years they have been establishments where anyone, from whatever background, can go to read and borrow books for free across every subject imaginable — from fiction, biographies, travel and medicine to the law, business studies and history.

Not only have they played a role in enriching our recreational and imaginative lives, they have proved a vital cog in the learning and research experiences of millions of people.

They are also places where people can meet up and socialise.

Like schools, local shops and post offices, they have been a cornerstone of our communities.

Over the years, some libraries have come under threat of closure but, thankfully, many have been saved.

It is good to read Cumbria County Council is investing £500,000 into Kendal Library, at Stricklandgate, which was built as part of a huge project funded by Andrew Carnegie and opened in 1909.

Some essential maintenance works at the library are nearing completion. The next phase of the work, which incorporates the redesign of the building, is due to start in early 2022 and will be completed in summer 2022.

There will, of course, be a huge range of books. Proposals include a children’s library and ‘Teen Zone’; more customer points throughout the library where people can speak to staff; a new café area; a completely refurbished public-access IT suite with new equipment and access to printing and photocopying; and an overhaul of the Local Studies area with new equipment, an improved exhibition area and research room.

The council is thinking about how new digital technology could be integrated and how the building could be used more flexibly, perhaps to host events, exhibitions or provide a space for community groups or just as a place for people to meet socially with family and friends.

It is seeking feedback about the proposed redesign and any other ideas people might have, by June 27.

The proposals are exciting and welcome. To view the designs and give feedback, go to