A press conference was held this morning at the British Library, where Janene Cox, President of the Society of Chief Librarians (SLC) set out their vision for the future of libraries. Janene Cox was joined by Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, Miranda McKearney OBE, Director of The Reading Agency, and Nicky Morgan, Director of Libraries at Arts Council England.
The four ‘Universal Offers’ – Health, Reading, Information, and Digital – are the four service areas which modern users regard as integral to public libraries. They were developed by the Society of Chief Librarians and partners including Arts Council England and The Reading Agency.
The SCL believe that the new national approach will, for the first time, clarify what the public should be able to expect from their library.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP said:
“Libraries continue to be an essential part of our local communities. They entertain and educate, and act as meeting places and important sources of local information.
The four Universal Offers clearly shows the range of services libraries now offer and this national approach will help ensure all libraries keep pace with these changing demands.
The public library service is in good health. There were 256 million visits to England’s 3,243 libraries in 2011-12 with three quarters of children and 40 per cent of adults using our libraries. These are phenomenal statistics that show the strength and relevance of public libraries.”
You can read The Bookseller article here: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/scl-announces-universal-offers-libraries.html,
the SCL press release here: http://www.goscl.com/libraries-of-the-21st-century-scl-launches-four-national-offers-for-public-libraries/
and the Universal Offers Media pack here: http://www.goscl.com/libraries-of-the-21st-century-scl-launches-four-national-offers-for-public-libraries/launch-of-the-universal-offers-media-pack/.
How feasible and realistic is it?
What are the advantages and pitfalls?
We’d love to know your thoughts.