After taking quite some time to get into gear, the Libraries Taskforce is starting to deliver…


There’s a useful paper outlining the state of the law on public libraries – DCMS decisions, judicial review decisions.

It does not, of course, comment on the fact that the DCMS could – and should – have done a heck of a lot more. In effect, it has done nothing as case after detailed case has been presented to it by desperate campaigners faced with vicious, damaging cuts.

Nor does it comment on the fact that the same desperate campaigners have been forced to mount expensive and risky judicial reviews to try to get some action. Library policy is, in effect, being decided via a mish-mash of decisions by individual judges.

An appalling situation all round, with DCMS inaction squarely to blame. But it’s handy to have a clear round-up to consult.

Download a copy here: Guidance on Libraries as a Statutory Service



A ‘toolkit’ of news, ideas and possible resources, with lots of links to follow up.

Again, we’re not mad about some of the ideas – outsourcing, anyone? volunteer libraries? – but it’s useful to have a picture of what’s going on. One section we like outlines just how much public libraries do to support all the work that local councils do. Most councils badly need to be told this!

Download a copy here: Libraries shaping the future: toolkit and case studies 


The toolkit…

is presented as a work permanently in progress, with comments and additions welcomed.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 22.35.34CEO Kathy Settle told us,

“It is a living document that we will keep adding to and tweaking over time – don’t think of it as a traditional ‘pdf-type’ publication that is published on a set date and is never changed….

We will particularly encourage people to give us feedback over the next couple of months as we want to ensure it is as useful as possible as soon as possible, but we will take on board feedback that comes in at any time.”

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