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Tameside Libraries - Our Mission Statement

Our Mission is to be a continually improving modern library service that is responsive to the needs of the local community, having at its heart the promotion of reading and lifelong learning in its widest sense, access to digital skills and services, and the provision of facilities which are open, accessible and inclusive and play a significant part in establishing the local community identity.

We will achieve this through our Service Aims which are:

Reading and Lifelong Learning

  • We will actively promote reading
  • We will help readers to develop their reading choices through the books we provide and a range of events and activities
  • We will work with others to support literacy and basic skills
  • We will provide materials and resources to support learning throughout life
  • We will provide access to information

Click here to read how we currently meet our reading and lifelong learning aims

Digital Skills and Services

  • We will make our Computer Learning Centres accessible to all
  • We will work with others to provide basic computer training courses for adults
  • We will provide access to library services through the website and e-mail
  • We will provide access to information online and create local content where necessary

Click here to read how we currently meet our digital skills and services aims

Community Focus and Inclusion

  • We will provide libraries which are open and neutral
  • We will make sure that buildings are welcoming and accessible
  • We will consult with users and non-users to make sure that services are based on the needs of local communities
  • We will provide access to 100% of Council services
  • We will collect and preserve materials which celebrate local heritage and community identity

Click here to read how we currently meet our community focus and inclusion aims

How we meet our reading and lifelong learning aims:

  • Designated staff take the lead on promoting reading for pleasure for adults, children and young people, and encouraging emergent readers and minority groups.
    • This is done by creating displays and developing an events and activity programme for adults and children with reading at its heart. Ensuring that Tameside Libraries take part in national and regional reading initiatives, such as the Summer Reading Challenge, the Six Book Challenge, relevant BBC campaigns, World Book Day and regional Time To Read projects.
  • Our website has links to useful reading and book sites and we encourage the setting up of readers groups in libraries and in the community.
  • We train all our staff to promote books and help customers with their reading choices.
  • Librarians have input into stock selection and are responsible for the editing and maintenance of branch book collections. We create special interest circulating collections, often linked to our promotions programme.
  • We have a number of library based readers groups for adults and currently support one community group for visually impaired people.
  • We have an annual programme of events aimed at promoting reading and increasing awareness of libraries amongst children and adults including:
    • Taking part in the Reading Agency's national initiative "The Summer Reading Challenge" aimed at primary aged children. Our aim is to increase the number of children taking part and completing each year.
    • Holding story times and craft sessions during the school holidays for children and families. 
    • Inviting all Tameside Primary Schools to bring their Year 5/6 and Year 2 children on a library visit. We also provide special interest visits, for example - Who’s your favourite - stories, rhymes and activities with favourite book characters and Traditional Stories- stories and rhymes from different cultures.
    • Holding weekly Bookstart "Time for a Rhyme" sessions in all our libraries for children under 4 years old and their parents or carers and running Bookstart Bear Club to encourage library membership and to promote the importance of reading to young children.
    • Hosting author, poetry and writing workshops for both adults and children.
    • Working in partnership with Tameside School Library Service to promote reading and libraries through primary schools
  • We have Bestseller collections and Quick Choice displays as well as themed displays bringing sections of book stock together to make our libraries easier to use. We also have a request service for books that are not immediately available.
  • We provide books in large print and talking books on CD.
  • We provide books in Bangla, Gujarati, Urdu, Chinese and Polish and simple dual language books for children.
  • We have a Stock Policy Document (0.33MB)  that is tied into the priority areas of Tameside MBC and Tameside Strategic Partnership and includes benchmarks and quality standards.
  • We have trained staff at all libraries to help customers find accurate up to date information on all subjects.
  • We have a well-established reference and information service, Tameside Libraries Information Service, located in Tameside Central Library in Ashton staffed by people skilled in finding information.
  • The recently ARA accredited Local Studies and Archive Centre is based in the Central Library in Ashton. Volunteers provide advice sessions on family history including twice monthly sessions with the Dukinfield Branch of the Cheshire Family History Society at the Centre. Online guides are available to help users access the collection and the catalogue and image collections are online 
  • The Tameside History Club runs a programme of talks and events designed to attract new audiences to local history, see our website for details.
  • The Local Studies and Archive Centre welcomes visits from teachers, family history groups and classes as well as individuals.
  • We work in partnership with a number of other organisations including:
    • Skills for Life providers - looking at ways libraries can be involved in basic skills provision and encourage reading for pleasure. We provide support material for skills for life and ESOL students and offer library visits with their tutor.
    • National Careers Service who provide support to Jobseekers in many of our libraries
    • Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust Health and Wellbeing College

How we meet our digital skills and services aims:

  • We have Computer Learning Centres in all of our libraries giving access to the Internet, e-mail facilities and Microsoft Office, several libraries also have scanners.
  • One work-station in each library has adaptive technology including large keyboard, trackball mouse, screen magnification, copy holder, footrest, wrist rests.
  • We work in partnership with providers of adult education who deliver basic computer courses for beginners. 
  • We have a "computer buddy" volunteer scheme for one to one tuition. The Buddy scheme can provide a general introduction to using a computer or provide help with specific aspects of using Microsoft Office, file management, scanning and using a laptop.
  • A growing number of employers including, Asda, B&Q, Boots, Next, John Lewis, Royal Mail and Sainsbury’s will only accept online job application forms. The Computer Buddy service can also assist job seekers who are less confident with computers to: use Word to format a CV and create a covering letter, save a document, search online, navigate web pages, create an email account and attach a document
  • All our staff are trained to provide basic ICT help and assistance.
  • Our website gives details of our services, access to our online catalogue and library members can reserve, renew items, check their borrower's record and review and rate books they have read.
  • We have an online enquiry service to Tameside Information Service and the Local Studies and Archives Service.
  • Our Information Service provides free access to valuable online business information useful to local businesses and business start-ups, jobseekers, consumers and students. For example detailed company information from MINT online database.
  • We provide library members with free access to a number of online resources including the Dictionary of National Biography, Encyclopedia Britannica, Driving Theory Test, PressReader Newspapers, RB Digital Magazines and
  • Our database of local organisations, gives contact information on over 850 groups. 
  • There is an extensive collection of local photographs on our Image Archive which is fully searchable.
  • An online catalogue of our archive collection is available at
  • Information and an online database of images relating to the Manchester Regiment is also available at
  • As part of the Greater Manchester Archive and Local Studies Partnership, the Centre contributes to projects both locally and nationally.

How we meet our community focus and inclusion aims:

  • The Library Service is delivered through 8 static service points, an unstaffed library access point in a Community Centre and 2 Home Library Service vehicles. We also provide a Health Information Service at Tameside General Hospital.
  • All Tameside households live within 2 miles of a static library.
  • We have good opening hours, including evenings and Saturday.
  • We are working towards all our buildings being accessible in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act.
  • We train all our staff in customer care and equalities and diversity.
  • We have relaxed our joining procedures to make it easier for people with low literacy skills and those without a permanent address to join our libraries.
  • We encourage feedback from customers through the Council's complaints system, and by the provision of comments and suggestion cards in all our libraries.
  • All libraries take Council payments and customers can request services and be given information about Council services. Four libraries have dedicated staff giving benefits advice.
  • We actively support the priorities of the Tameside Strategic Partnership, with specific emphasis on Supportive Tameside, Prosperous Tameside, Learning Tameside and Healthy Tameside.
  • The Local Studies & Archives Centre has a commitment to Lifelong Learning and to Social Inclusion.  As part of this the project ‘A Sense of Place ‘ project linked with Adullum Homes Housing Association, Ashton has run over the last twelve months and is set to continue.  More information about this can be found on our blog site here.
  • We work closely with community groups on community archive and heritage projects. We offer support and guidance, a space for meetings, activities and exhibitions in the Local Studies and Archives Centre and take in any materials created as a result of such projects.
  • We offer volunteering opportunities especially in Local Studies and Archives, Health Information Centre, the computer buddy scheme, our Book Time for Yourself groups and the Summer Reading Challenge.