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This joint statement about the value placed on library services by the public, is supported by a wide range of bodies and organisations including The Society of Authors, the Royal Society of Literature, the Campaign for the Book, Public Lending Right, the Booksellers Association, Voices for the Library, The Chartered institute of Library and Information Professionals, The Society of Chief Librarians, The Publishers Association, The Reading Agency, Unison, The Association of Authors' Agents and The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
Tony durcan Newcastle ABF 2012
58E CONGRÈS 2012 La Bibliothèqueune affaire publique.
Faut-il encore des bibliotheques? Examples d’Angleterre. Tony Durcan Newcastle City Council,Society of Chief Librarians, and CILIP.
What I want to say:• reflect on the conference themes: • current politics; • budget challenges; • scope for service innovation; • the importance of place;• the public library ‘offer’;• the Library Service as part of the overall ‘cultural offer’;• and how we demonstrate to politicians and funders the importance of public libraries. 3 4
The UK political agenda• the priority is to reduce the budget deficit;• this has resulted in serious budget reductions generally, including for local councils;• each local council is having to reassess its priorities;• health or libraries?• tough choices. 5
UK Public Libraries• a statutory service;• locally funded and managed;• central government has powers but is ‘hands off’;• lack of national vision/leadership;• service quality varies across the country;• each library service governed by local priorities. 6
Latest trends (2011/12).• 7.5% reduction in revenue budgets;• 10% reduction in book funds;• 10% of posts lost in the last year....with a further 11% lost over the previous 5 years;• the increasing use of volunteers;• 33% of Councils are reducing their mobile libraries. 8
But is it a crisis?• 4125 library sites – a network to die for;• 321,546,000 visits (5.2 per person);• 12,079,000 active members. 10
The evidence?• "We need libraries most during recessions." The Providence Journal, July 29, 2011.• Libraries Shine In Tough Economic Times NPR broadcast, All Things Considered, July 29, 2008.• "As economy struggles, more people rely on libraries," By Terry Date. Eagle Tribune, February 19, 2008• Libraries report increased use of e-government, job resource - 6/21/10 press release for ALAs Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2009-2010. 11
Libraries and the economy• business information;• employment information;• work clubs;• computers and CVs. 12
Libraries’ contribution to society.• an equal service;• digital inclusion;• much more than reading books;• where else is there free, quality and safe public space?• and a sense of place and history. 16
...and, Public ValueThe Value, Impact and Potential of public libraryservices“Libraries matter to people! Even those whodon’t use them regularly care about whathappens to them because they recognise whatthey stand for; that they exist to ensure thateveryone has access to the knowledge,scholarship, books and information they need tohelp them enjoy and make a success of theirlives”. [The great and the good]. 31
So, in summary:• huge budget challenges;• these challenges will continue;• the messages to politicians: – libraries provide good value; – supporting the economy and employment; – social and digital inclusion; – culture, place and learning; – libraries help politicians deliver their priorities; 33
The real danger for residentsand politicians with librarycuts is that more is lost thanis saved. 34 34
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