SCL meets with library campaigners to discuss how to build a sustainable library service
Today, the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) hosted their inaugural Stakeholder Forum. The aim is to develop a shared dialogue between library campaigners, SCL members and Arts Council England on how to ensure a sustainable publicly-funded library service.
The Forum was set up as a means to broker an understanding about the different roles and responsibilities of those engaged with the current debate.
Today’s attendees included representatives from Arts Council England, SCL, Voices for the Library, Public Library News, the Library Campaign the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and Desmond Clarke.
SCL cares enormously about the future of the public library service. We work hard to develop public libraries and promote their true value and contribution at a local and national level. Representatives from SCL highlighted the way in which the organisation helps to shape the future of libraries within local authorities. For instance, SCL President, Janene Cox, is currently serving as a member of the Government’s e-lending review panel and considering how best libraries can respond to the challenges and opportunities which e-Books technology offers.
Attendees also agreed that they do all share a common purpose and, whilst approaching that from different perspectives, there is the opportunity to work together.
From the meeting, it was clear that whilst the last three years have been difficult, the next few are going to be equally tough. There have been some notable successes and steps forward in terms of service development, like supporting over 3 million people to use digital services in libraries across the UK. It is crucial that we can ensure as many successes like this as possible. A coordinated approach to building a sustainable library service will be key to doing this.
The group is producing a series of follow up points from the meeting and have agreed that today’s meeting was the first of what is hoped will be a continued dialogue with library campaigners.