Libraries must remain community hubs despite technological change, report says
Public libraries will have to cope with technological advances yet remain the hubs of community life, Arts Council England has reported today.
In a major research project entitled ‘Envisioning the library of the future’, the quango sets out four priority areas for development; placing the library as the hub of the community; fully exploiting digital technology; ensuring libraries are resilient and ensuring librarians have the right skills.
Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said. ‘Envisioning the library of the future has shown us that collaboration is key.
‘If everyone with an interest in and passion for libraries works effectively together, we can help the sector to develop and respond to the challenges and opportunities that are presenting themselves,’ Mr Davey added.
Culture minister, Ed Vaizey, said: ‘Public libraries matter – they play an important role for communities and help celebrate and promote Britain’s greatest contribution to world civilisation – our language and literature. But libraries need constantly to adapt to keep up with changes in communities.’
Responding to report, chair of the Local Government Association’s culture, tourism and sport board, Cllr Flick Rea, said: ‘Across the country there’s been a fantastic amount of creativity and ambition to modernise libraries in ways which engage young people, don’t alienate existing users and make the most of diminished budgets.
'However, were government to inflict yet more funding cuts on councils, which have already borne the brunt of its austerity measures, some would not be able to continue shielding libraries from cuts which may mean more would be forced to close.’
More on ebooks, to keep overheads down & the cost to taxpayer. The provision of free internet is questionable, as that is a burden on other peopleJ Smith, Added: Thursday, 23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Public libraries will have to cope with a hell of a lot more than this. The library landscape has changed irretrievably, while the Arts Council has faffed about repeating research that had already been done again and again. Meanwhile, hundreds of libraries closed. Many more were gutted of adequate staffing, opening hours, stock. Many communities have been forced to take them over, to save them - with little help or advice. We'd love to work with ACE - if only it would join us on this planet.Laura Swaffield, Chair, The Library Campaign, Added: Thursday, 23 May 2013 03:39 PM
Is this really the level of research that we get from government? You'd imagine that having librarians involved, people who are supposed to understand data it would be proper robust bit of research like you'd get from a scientific paper. The outsourced part of the study alone cost somewhere between 65k and 85K And yet they spoke to less people that regularly use my local library which is tiny.No wonder the country is in a mess, we need better policy based on real research not this sort drivelTrevor Craig, library user, Oxfordshire, Added: Thursday, 23 May 2013 02:45 PM
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