Over the past few years many of us have watched the situation with the UK’s public libraries with great interest. CILIP’s Public and Mobile Libraries Group have constructed a presentation report on the advocacy for UK public libraries activities 2007-2017.
The report includes an overview of political, professional and public advocacy campaigns and initiatives of the period. The piece covers an insight into the activities of CILIP, SCL, British Library, Libraries Taskforce, and a number of proactive individuals, including Public Library News and was created primarily for international dissemination.
Worth a look!
CILIP’s PMLG Newsletter reports that the Annual Report to Parliament, reports that Libraries are still popular and there are a large number of visits each year. In 2015/16 alone there were 177 million book loans and 211 million visits to libraries in England – more than the total attendance at English Premier League football matches, cinema admissions in England and the top 10 UK tourist attractions combined.
The report demonstartes that public libraries in England contribute to cultural and creative enrichment
● increased reading and literacy
● increased digital access and literacy
● helping everyone achieve their full potential
● healthier and happier lives
● greater prosperity
● stronger, more resilient communities
However the report indicates that the way in which people use libraries and their expectations are changing.
EUROLIS (the consortium of librarians from European cultural institutes in London) and the International Library and Information Group (ILIG) of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) have organised a one-day seminar focusing on the role of libraries as institutions at the forefront of profound changes in society. Libraries and Human Rights – caring for the whole community .
Leading experts from Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, the UK and the USA will present current projects and share their experiences and ideas with the audience.
The seminar will be chaired by Martyn Wade, Chair of the CILIP Board and IFLA FAIFE committee.
Fri 25 Nov | 9:30am – 4:30pm| £ 60 (£50 conc.) including lunch | At the Goethe-Institut London | Tickets are available on Eventbrite
CILIP has reported that after considerable preliminary cross-sector consultation, the Libraries Taskforce has published an open consultation draft document Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016-2021. The Ambition document sets out a vision of the value and impact of public libraries. Once finalised, Ambition will directly feed into the creation of an action plan showing how local and national government and the library profession will work together with local communities and other partners to make this shared ambition a reality.
Some very strong infographics highlight the ways in which public libraries support user needs.
In their vision for the 21st century, the report sees the purpose of the public library network as contributing to the delivery of 7 areas:
•reading and literacy
•health and wellbeing
•culture and creativity
Feedback on the document is welcomed.
Winners of PMLG’s Annual Awards
Papers from CILIP’s Public and Mobile Libraries Group Conference Lighting the Way: Libraries and Wellbeing are now available on their website. Held in Staffordshire on 9-10 October there were a range of presentations and workshops exploring the health, social and economic aspects of our contribution to a better and stronger society.
The Conference was also an opportunity to recognise Library professionals. Congratulations to:
- The Public Librarian of the Year, Russell Allen from West Sussex
- The Public Library Champion of the Year, Annie Brierley from Devon
- The Mobile Library Champion of the Year, John MacNab from Essex
North Yorkshire’s Mobile Library
Mobile Libraries were also celebrated. Congratulations to Essex Libraries (State of the Art Award) , Renfrewshire Libraries (Delegate’s Choice Award) , Sandwell Libraries ( President’s Shield for Best Small Van ) and North Yorkshire ( Best Vehicle Livery Award )
CILIP’s Public and Mobile Libraries Group December Newsletter reported on the the National Literacy Trust’s second annual survey of parents and practitioners on Children’s early literacy practices at home and in early years settings. The report makes for very interesting reading.
The Report suggests that the latest survey data indicated that ‘technology may provide a route in to reading for children of lower socioeconomic status’. Children from poorer households were found to spend twice as long reading stories on a touch screen than from printed sources. Moreover, twice as many boys than girls claimed to read more stories on a touch screen than in print. It would appear that early theories about the advantages of digital technologies for engaging hard-to-reach readers are now supported by the statistics.
It is important to note however that the recommended approach is still, very much a blended one: ‘in general, young children are more likely to have above average vocabulary attainment if they look at or read both printed stories and stories on a touch screen’.
The long awaited Sieghart Report was officially released today. CILIP are calling the work a ‘convincing roadmap’ as the report outlines a detailed strategy for reinvigorating English public libraries. William Sieghart and panel have three ‘major’ recommendations that form the crux of their proposal:
- The provision of national digital resources for libraries, to be delivered in partnership with local authorities.
- The setting up of a task and finish force, led by local government, in partnership with other bodies involved in the library sector, to provide a strategic framework for England, and to help in implementing the following.
- The task force, to work with local authorities, to help them improve, revitalise and if necessary, change their local library service, while encouraging, appropriate to each library, increased community involvement.
Alongside decisive recommendations for the future, the Independent Library Report for England advocates the value of public libraries: ‘The library does more than simply loan books. It underpins every community. It is not just a place for self-improvement, but the supplier of an infrastructure for life and learning’. The Sieghart Report is an exciting development in the current library climate, reminding us all that change can mean positive developments.
For a look at what CILIP have to say on the matter visit their site. You might also be interested in what David Lankes has to say in Coffee, Wifi, and the Loo: Reactions to The Sieghart Report.