Impact on library policy/practice: NHS libraries are being encouraged to partner with local library services; this report will give NHS librarians an understanding of the current public library landscape. Central to the report is the theme of wellbeing (see page 9) which may be a useful way for NHS libraries to open a conversation with their local public library colleagues. The report also encourages partnership working and clearly there is an opportunity for NHS and local authority libraries to work together to work towards the five recommendations laid out in the report.
An accompanying data booklet summarises ‘how people in the UK and Ireland use public libraries and what they think of them’ which could be of use for business cases, impact reports or understanding how to target local services.
Source: Carnegie UK Trust
Publication format: PDF
Date of publication: April 2017
Summary of driver: This report outlines how public libraries can continue to contribute to government policy goals and improve people’s wellbeing for many years in the future. The report presents recommendations drawn from research conducted by Carnegie into library use and attitudes towards library across the UK and Ireland.
Public libraries have the ability to contribute to individual and community wellbeing and to many of the priorities of local and national government. Moving forward, library services and their advocates need to be future focused and outward looking, and resist the temptation to embrace a backwards-looking ethos.
Key features of driver: This report seeks to contribute to the debate by sharing the ‘state of play’ for public libraries in the UK and Ireland revealed by our research. The reports sets our five recommendations (‘lessons’) for how libraries can continue to improve people’s wellbeing both in today’s political, economic and social context and into the future.
These lessons are as follows:
- Demonstrate value to policy makers, decision makers and funders to maximise public and other investment
- Increase focus on tailored, personalised services whilst maintaining a focus on delivering a universal service
- Accelerate the development of a user-centred, data rich service with a strong online presence
- Invest in innovation, leadership and outcomes-based partnerships (one point is ‘Local and national governments and voluntary organisations to explore the value of partnering with public libraries to deliver services and outcomes’)
- Enhance learning between libraries and across jurisdictions
Primary audience: Members of the public and public library stakeholders.
Date last updated: August 2017
Due for review: August 2018
Group member responsible: VT