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.
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.