This paper examines the wider activities that are now offered in public libraries in the United Kingdom. Traditionally, libraries offered reference and lending services, originally in book format only. Now all sorts of formats are available, including tape, slide, video, CD, DVD, material from the Internet and so on. Libraries have also become meeting places and often offer retail opportunities. The wider context of recent Government initiatives and University research are also examined, as well as possible sources of funding to finance some of these initiatives.