At the end of 2008 Unison published this timely report which looked at the current state of the public library service in the UK and its volatile future.
The report highlights the public library as a “priceless – if often underused – link with the community” and calls for the government and local authorities to implement the following five point plan to ensure its future success as an involved, relevant, imaginative, welcoming and valued public service in the 21st century:
1. Adequate resources and funding for library services, staff and premises
2. Empowerment of staff and communities to shape services together
3. Partnership working between libraries and councils across the UK to share information and good practice
4. Responsiveness to library users from all backgrounds
5. Provision of staff training and professional development
Concise explanations for each point are provided in the full report – Taking Stock: the future of our public library service (Unison, 2008).
An incredibly informative and enjoyable read; ideal for anyone currently facing the challenge of having to defend the value of public libraries within our communities!