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Tuesday, 1st April 2014

UK: Independent Report on Public Libraries, chaired by William Sieghart - Submission from the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP)

Source: CILIP (UK)

From Press Release:

CILIP (The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) has submitted its evidence to the Independent Panel reviewing the state of the public library service in England.

Representing the voice of more than 3,000 public library practitioners, the professional body has confirmed its view that the current service in England is becoming a ‘postcode lottery’ and a patchwork of provision is evolving depending on where you live.

CILIP’s evidence reinforced the core values of the public service and the profession’s firm belief that freedom of access to reading, information and learning are still essential in a digital world. Libraries potentially have an even more important role in learning and in access to digital technology.

CILIP’s view is that the lack of a clear definition of what is a ‘comprehensive and efficient’ service has led to local interpretation of what can be delivered. Agencies should work together to define some core entitlements that everyone should be able to access from their library service, both physically and virtually.

Condemning the substitution of paid jobs with volunteers, CILIP also made clear its view about community libraries that are separated from local authority support have problems with ‘a lack of connectivity in terms of legal duties, breadth of services, professional expertise and quality that risks impacting on the public.’

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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