Monthly Archives: March 2014

Our Submission to Sieghart

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Communities and Local Government has jointly commissioned William Sieghart to produce an independent report considering the current structure and role of public libraries, including community libraries, in England as well as identifying any opportunities for future delivery.

Interested parties were invited to submit evidence to help inform the Panel’s considerations in respect of the following areas:

  1. What are the core principles of a public library service into the future?
  2. Is the current delivery of the public library service the most comprehensive and efficient?
  3. What is the role of community libraries in the delivery of a library offer?

With the democratisation of the means of production and reproduction, as well as the exponential growth in information as “data”, we are minded to think that we must explore what role libraries might meaningfully play in the 21st century where harnessing information for social and economic benefit is concerned.

In our submission, then, we stated that the core principles and organisation of a public library service in future should be:

  • Third Spaces – locally rooted social capital factories, accessible to and welcoming of all, that bridge the online/offline divide and encourage literacy as well as STEAM skills development to nurture contemporary creative endeavour.
  • Read/Write Oriented – facilitating the consumption, production and re-mixing of information, knowledge and know-how (including, data).
  • A National Library Service underpinned by an Open, Enabling ICT Infrastructure – to facilitate access to information, knowledge and know-how on an anytime/anywhere basis.
  • Enterprising Local-by-Default Library Services responsive to User Needs and Interests – to nurture digital inclusion as well as access to/production and re-mixing of information, knowledge and know-how in a trusted and supportive environment.
  • A Locus for Citizen Interaction with Contemporary Culture, Public Services, Community Activities, Open Government and E-Democracy.

Download Our Submission in full.