Kendal Library redesign

Kendal Library

Thank you to everyone that took part in the Kendal Library building redesign public consultation, which took place in June 2021. We received a fantastic response with over 200 people giving us their feedback on what they would like to see from the changes.

Your views have been key in helping us to create a redesigned library building that will meet the needs of the Kendal community.

The floor plans for the redesigned building have now been updated following your feedback:

Below we've displayed your suggestions and our responses. Find out how your feedback has influenced our decision making on the building and service delivery plans:

You saidWe did
I'd like the library to provide learning resources in addition to computers, like iPads and Kindles.Great suggestion, we're looking into it.
There should be some digital tech in the Local Study area.Great suggestion, we're looking into it.
I think it would be helpful to have a visual rolling digital display for events, library information and resources etc.Great suggestion, we have this in our plans.
There should be scanning facilities available.Great suggestion, this is in our plan and we're looking into it.
The library building could provide a space for video conferencing.Great suggestion, we're looking into it.
Books could be available to download through a QR code.Great suggestion, we're looking into it.
Children's learning computer software should be available on the computers at the library.Great suggestion, we're looking into it.
I'd like to be able to renew my books online.You can do this already - go to to find out more
I'd like the library to hold author talks.Kendal Library does already hold author talks, and we would like to do this more, so it's in our plan - watch this space!
I think the library building would be a great place to hold music events.Great suggestion! We were holding music events in the building before Covid, and we plan on bringing music events back now that Covid restrictions have eased.
I'd like the books available from the library to be kept more up to date.When we move into the redesigned library we will do a stock-check to make sure our collection is up to date, and we'll continue to keep an eye on this.
The bookshelves could be moveable to create space for other things at different times.Some of the proposed bookshelves for the redesigned library are movable - just like you suggest.
I'd like to see the library provide daily newspapers for browsing.I'm afraid the cost for this would be too high.
I think staff should be available by the PC area so that if someone if having computer trouble there's always someone to help out.Our library staff are available to help anyone who is having computer troubles, and they will continue to do so.
The library should provide local information for visitors, like a tourist information.Great suggestion - and it's part of our plan! We'll make sure that library staff have the skills and technology to provide you with the local information that you're looking for.
You should be able to pick up bus timetables from the library.There are already some bus timetables available from the library, and a member of staff would be happy to show you where you can find all of Cumbria's timetables at
A bookable space for meetings would be really helpful.Great suggestion, we're looking into it.
I think the library should be open during evening hours a day or two a week.Great suggestion, we're looking into it.
There should be an out of hours drop box for books so that you can return your book anytime.Great suggestion, we're looking into it.
I'd like to see more rooms for adult learning.The Pennington Room will be a dedicated adult learning space.
I'm concerned that shelving space for books will be lost.The proposed plans will result in small reduction in shelving space. However, this will help us improve the layout of stock and ensure that the library space can be used more flexibly for community activities
I'm concerned that there seem to be fewer PCs available.The number of public PCs available in the library remains the same in the proposed designs, though they may be located differently in the building.
Could there be a disabled access toilet on the ground floor?We looked into this, but because the library is a Listed Building it was not possible. There is a fully accessible toilet and lift on the first floor.
Could all fiction books be on one floor?Yes, we'll do this.
Could we have wheelchair accessible tables in the children's library?Our children's library will feature a large activity table which will be wheelchair accessible.
Could there be more windows in the Local Studies area?No additional windows can be added on the first floor due to the building design. We will be looking at how we can use interior lighting to better mimic daylight.
I think it would be great if you could collaborate with a local café.The proposed "café area" is simply a vending machine with hot and cold drinks. This is similar to what the library has currently, but it will be nicer coffee we hope!
I'd like more comfortable seating.We have included more comfortable seating in the design than we have currently. We have to strike a balance; more seating means less shelving.
I think a "quiet zone" would be helpful.There is a quiet zone within the proposed design on the first floor.
A dedicated area for newly published books would be great.Yes, we'll do that.
Could there be a pram store?It's a good idea, so we've removed one of the sofas in the children's library to accommodate a pram store.
Could we get a bike store?We will be keeping the existing spaces for bikes at the front of the building.
More worktop tables in the Local Studies area (for maps) would be useful.We have added an additional worktop table to the local studies area. There is now very significantly more table space than there is currently.
More plugs/sockets/charging point would be useful.We are trying to maximise the number of sockets available to use, but there are restrictions given the building's Listed status. The recessed seating along perimeter walls will have power sockets and USB/USBC points built in. Children's library recessed seating will have USB/USBC points only.
I would like a gate into the children's library to help stop my little ones straying into the main library.We have considered this but we have ruled it out because of complications due to the building's Listed status.

Our proposals involve a complete 'make over' of the interior of the building, changing how the space is used and giving it a fresh and modern look while maintaining the unique features of this fantastic local building.

The images are artist impressions to give you an idea of how the space could look.

An exciting children's library and Teen Zone

Children love books. The proposed new children's library has loads of cool design features to make it a great place for kids and families to chill out, learn and have fun. We've also got a separate space just for teenagers.

Teen zone

A fabulous book collection

Books are still fundamental. We've changed the shelving around but there'll still be a great range to choose from.

No Fiction

New customer service points

We know you value the help and advice our staff offer so we'll provide more customer points throughout the library where you can speak to staff. We'll also have a dedicated customer services area for more private conversations.

Customer service points

Café culture

There's nothing better than a cup of tea and a good book. Our new café area will have an improved vending offer and comfy seating.

Cafe culture

IT and digital facilities

A completely refurbished public access IT suite with new equipment and access to printing and photocopying. We'd also like to offer new digital tools and equipment and would love to hear your ideas.

IT facilities

An improved Local Studies area

Our Local Studies area on the first floor is hugely popular, but it's a little tired. We're giving it an overhaul with new equipment, improved exhibition area and research room.

Local Studies


Libraries are all about learning and we're working hand in hand with the council's Adult Learning service who will continue to deliver courses from the refurbished Pennington Room.

Learning v2

Further public consultation will take place over the coming months so keep a look out for more opportunities to have your say.