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(Conservative LibDem) Government initiatives

Re-modelling Libraries 2010

Culture Minister launches support programme for libraries. 1 July 2010

'A new support programme that will secure a place for public libraries at the heart of the Big Society was unveiled by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey'

From his speech: 'Public libraries have a unique place in society where anyone can go without judgement to learn, read, access information, get online or find entertainment. And the library service’s ability to reach out and engage with groups who might otherwise be on the outskirts of the community makes their role in the Big Society all the more vital.'

The '**write to reply**' site is available for comment until Thursday 8th July and has some comments from, for example:

Gary Green (3)

Grace Kempster (1)

Ian Anstice (2)

Les Carr (1)

Lucy Cross (1)

Marianne Bamkin (9)

Rossella Black (1)

Guardian article on above

'Ed Vaizey puts libraries at heart of 'big society'Culture minister sets out his vision for libraries as campaigners take councils to task with a national 'charter for change' Alison Flood,, Thursday 1 July

[[|DCMS savings announced 17 June 2010]]

'Savings of around £73 million have been made by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, as part of the department’s further contribution to reducing the fiscal deficit.'

'The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt, and his ministerial team have examined recent spending decisions, pilot schemes and other commitments, and decided that a number of projects should not now go ahead.'

'A number of other schemes have also been cancelled, including some aspects of the libraries modernisation programme'

Previous (Labour) government initiative 'Modernisation Review of Public Libraries'

(1) The DCMS issued its policy statement (March 2010) 'Modernisation Review of Public Libraries: A Policy Statement at’ DCMS March 2010. Cm 7821. ISBN: 9780101782128

The (December 2009) consultation document **'Empower, Inform Enrich. The modernisation review of public libraries**; a consultation document is available as a PDF from:

The closing date for responses was Tuesday 26 January 2010

**(2) Responses to the consultation. (If you find any more please add them!)**

(3) Some media comment

The Bookseller 23rd March 2010Critics pounce on Library Review

'….both Coates and Vaizey have criticised the review for a lack of substance. “Like every one of 30 national reports that have preceeded it in the past decade, it is vague, unspecific and full of waffle,” Coates said. “It says nothing that hasn't been said 100 times or is not totally obvious. We needed a timetable and specific actions whereby the enormous funding the service receives was reallocated to clear priorities.'

The Guardian, Monday 22 March 2010 (in respones to the policy statement)

'Key to saving libraries: free internet access and Sunday opening.' By Patrick Wintour

Government reviews suggests measures to counter spending cuts and declining popularity

Guardian 7th March 2010'

The battle of Britain's libraries.'By Stuart Jeffries Coffee shops, gigs, free cinema tickets, flashy architecture . . . is this the future of our libraries? Stuart Jeffries on government plans to shake things up – and the people standing in their way

'Of course some Britons couldn't care less about saving their local library. When West Sussex county council recently announced it was planning to reduce opening hours for three out of four libraries, in order to save £200,000, several blog posts on the Brighton Evening Argus website suggested the cuts weren't deep enough. “I haven't been to the library for years,” wrote Arthur of Horsham. “I read papers online, get information from the internet and buy books from Amazon. The people who most 'need' them – are the least likely to use them – too busy watching rubbish on TV. They are essentially outdated and should morph into more of an online information service.” ‘

The Daily Telegraph on 1st December:

'Public libraries risk becoming 'curiosity of history' warns Margaret Hodge. Public libraries must move with the times or risk becoming a curiosity of history like telex machines or typewriters'.

(4) DCMS Website

The following is from the DCMS website.

'On 1 December 2009 Margaret Hodge launched a two month consultation seeking the views of a wide range of people on the future of public libraries.

The public library service has a vital role in a democratic society. Libraries help to promote equality of opportunity and intellectual freedom and public libraries embody a commitment to open access to information and education for all.

Libraries contribute to a wide range of National and Local Government targets - improving literacy and early years education, community cohesion, learning and skills development, health and well being, digital inclusion, citizenship, business support and entrepreneurship

However, there are five significant challenges for the library service:

  • How can the library service demonstrate to citizens, commentators and politicians that they are still relevant and vital?
  • How can we reverse the current trend of decline in library usage and grow the numbers using their local library?
  • How can all libraries respond to a 24/7 culture and respond to changing expectations of people who want immediate access to information.
  • How can all libraries grasp the opportunities presented by digitisation?
  • How can the library service cope with limited public resource and economic pressures?

The consultation questions set out in this document provide an opportunity for a comprehensive survey of views from as wide a range of people as possible including Local Authority Leaders, chief executives, people working in the Library Service, public and private partners, business interests as well as library users. We shall publish a policy statement in the spring which will set out the Government’s vision for the future of public libraries'

The closing date for responses was Tuesday 26 January 2010

the_modernisation_review_of_public_libraries.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/20 15:07 (external edit)