The Library Campaign is seldom super-excited by government reviews of libraries. More money would solve a lot of their problems. However, it’s better that they appear somewhere on the national agenda than not.
Here’s step 1: the new report on libraries (England only though), written by Conservative peer Baroness (Liz) Sanderson. The Library Campaign was closely involved, alongside other national bodies. She accepted many things we said, but alas rejected others, including the need for a national advertising campaign. The report has already been endorsed by government and will form the basis of a national “strategy” this year.
In this political climate, Liz knew better than to ask for proper funding. But her report certainly pinpoints plenty of underlying issues worth getting on with. It’s not too painfully long – 49 pages.
She concludes, to nobody’s surprise, that the core problem is not enough awareness of what libraries do – among central government, local councils, the public and even the library sector itself.

1. The establishment of a national data hub to better evidence the role libraries play in our society
2. A national branding campaign to raise awareness of our libraries
3. The closer involvement of the British Library
4. An expanded library membership
5. A stronger volunteer network
6. The creation of a Libraries Minister and a more joined- up approach within government
7. The establishment of a Libraries Laureate
8. A change to the timing of Libraries Week to better involve politicians nationally and locally

Link to report & government response here and what The Library Campaign said to Sanderson here.


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