“…I remain resolutely optimistic about library services. I have never, even in opposition, depicted the library service as being in crisis.
I look to a future where:
- The Arts Council acts as a development agency for libraries
- Libraries can access funds and support from the Arts Council
- Poorly performing authorities are identified and helped to improve
- Key initiatives can be taken forward by central government, such as wi-fi or automatic enrolment for school children
- Government and local authorities understand what a vital resource libraries are across a whole range of activities
But we must always remember that libraries are a local service – free to serve their local community, to innovate and adapt to local needs…”
— Culture Minister, June 2012
|Title:||The Future of Local Libraries and Cultural Services|
|Date:||Tuesday April 16th 2013|
|Time:||10.15am – 4:30pm|
|Venue:||Broadway House, Westminster|
Register your place
|Ian Watson, Member, National Executive, The Society of Chief Librarians; Chair, Library Statistics Working Group, Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accounting (CIPFA)|
|Miranda McKearney, Chief Executive, The Reading Agency|
|Barbara Leigh, Principal Librarian for Northampton and Wellingborough Area, Northamptonshire County Council|
The Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 (the 1964 Act) sets out, in the context of local need, the statutory duty for all local authorities to provide an efficient library service. At present there are 151 library authorities delivering 3,243 public libraries in England, these authorities invested £820 million in 2011-12.
In June 2012, recognising the invaluable service libraries provide, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey announced a package of measures outlining his vision for a sustainable 21st Century public library service, which included three new initiatives:
Whilst these new measures are to be welcomed, at a time of shrinking budgets and increasing service demands, libraries need to keep finding innovative ways to safeguard library and cultural services. According to the Local Government Association, examples include libraries merging with GP surgeries, housing police front desks, giving shop space to local entrepreneurs and putting on concerts.
In addition, there has also been an increase in community managed and supported libraries situated within village halls, pubs, shops, churches, day care centres, tourist information centres and enterprise hubs. These community libraries provide an important alternative model for local communities, especially where a local authority is in the process of closing a building.
This special symposium provides an invaluable opportunity for local authorities, government departments, the library sector, shared services teams and other key partners to examine the Government’s latest policy initiatives and explore how libraries can remain a vital local resource in the 21st Century – innovating and adapting to deliver a whole range of services.
|09:30||Registration and Morning Refreshments|
|10:15||Chair’s Welcome and Introduction|
Panel Session One:
Safeguarding Culture and Heritage – The Future of Local Libraries
|11:15||Morning Coffee Break|
|11:30||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel One|
Panel Session Two:
The Evolving Nature of Library Services – The Challenge for Local Authorities and their Strategic Partners
|14:15||Afternoon Coffee Break|
|14:30||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel Two|
|15:30||Chair’s Summary and Closing Comments|