Wednesday, April 7, 2010

UK Public Library Modernisation Review

CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has welcomed proposals set out in the government’s Public Library Modernisation Review, published today. CILIP now calls on the government to show leadership by delivering their recommendations with appropriate funding to provide the “first-rate free service to everyone” they commit to.

CILIP has consistently called on the government to provide clear guidance to local authorities, so that Councils know what library services they are expected to deliver and local people receive the quality of service they have a right to expect. The government’s proposals for a ‘core’ and ‘local’ library offer linked to continued commitment to a statutory ‘comprehensive and efficient’ service begins to answer CILIP’s call.

“Over the last twelve months CILIP has been hard at work lobbying the government; at the Wirral Inquiry, by publishing Guidelines on What Makes a Good Library Service, through the Public Library Modernisation Consultation, and by publishing a Library and Information Manifesto.” said CILIP President, Biddy Fisher, “I’m glad to see that the government has paid attention to our evidence and recommendations. I welcome the government’s commitment to delivering a first-rate free service to everyone; they now need to deliver on their recommendations and provide appropriate investment in the public library service.”

Following Wirral Council’s announcement in 2009 that they were restructuring the library service, large demonstrations took place and a government-led inquiry followed, “Lessons from the Wirral Inquiry are being learnt,” commented CILIP Chief Executive, Bob McKee, “the government is recommending clear guidance on engagement and consultation with local communities. They are also committing to review the rules of intervention by the Secretary of State when local authorities are thought to be failing in their statutory duty. I await the details with interest, but this sounds like a step in the right direction.”

CILIP agrees with the Review’s affirmation that books must remain at the heart of library service but also welcomes the proposal to ensure free Internet access in all libraries and the free lending of eBooks. “Libraries have a major role to play in supporting digital inclusion,’ said Bob McKee, “and it is important for people to have free access to online resources as well as to books from their local library.”

Full review:

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