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About Central Renew

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About Central Renew


Extensive research was conducted that focused on current and future trends and best practices in public spaces and in libraries, in particular. With the accelerated growth of technology, digitization, 24/7 connectedness and the amazing speed at which information flows from one point to another, library users need and expect more from their local public library.

The enduring values of the Public Library remain constant – free and equitable access, gateways to knowledge, gathering spaces, intellectual freedom and privacy – while the expectations and vehicles for delivering service are rapidly changing.

Still a respected place for leisure, reading and community, 21st century users are also looking for libraries that offer innovative and easily accessible virtual spaces, alongside beautiful, creative and dynamic physical spaces.

Careful design and planning of these spaces is important for their success with the public, but so, too, is the need for community input.


Staff from across our library system researched emerging trends and innovative practices in customer service, technology and public space. Socio-demographic and community asset mapping of London neighbourhoods and our library service areas provided valuable data.


The Strategic Planning consultation process was open, transparent and inclusive and revealed that the Central Library must be able to adapt to the evolution of library services which will inevitably include new technology, and to the new ways which the Library space may be used in the future. Some of the feedback received was specific to the Central Revitalization project.

Londoners were engaged in the Strategic Planning process in many ways. Street teams of staff interviewed 280 Londoners in 27 locations, including skateboard and dog parks, bus stops, markets and festivals. Questions probed the future role of the Library and its spaces in their life and that of our community. More than 6,700 Londoners took our online survey over a three-week period. We also hosted Stakeholder Labs with representative of numerous local groups and audiences, such as the local technology sector, accessibility advocates, newcomers, The Friends of the Library and our volunteers. These conversations about the future asked our participants to be brutally honest about the relevancy of London Public Library to our community’s future.


Our staff, with their roots deep in the community and on the front lines of service, completed extensive research and also participated as Street Team members and Stakeholder Lab facilitators. After reviewing the rich findings that came out of the research and community engagement processes, more than 20 roundtable sessions were hosted by our CEO across the system to gather input from all staff. Meetings were held with Customer Service & Branch Operations Managers and Coordinators who are responsible for the system-wide planning, development and implementation of library services to obtain their input into the branch vision and service/design elements that would contribute to a better functioning building for the public and the staff. A staff development day was held in November 2013 to gather feedback from 240 staff as part of the strategic planning process. Staff day exercises in 2012, 2014 and 2015 also included information gathering about Central Library.