What’s the truth about volunteer-led libraries?

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WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT VOLUNTEER-RUN LIBRARIES?

NOBODY KNOWS….

A few years ago, public libraries run by volunteers were almost unheard of.
But more and more local authorities are turning to the idea.
And more and more local people are taking them on as the only way to ‘save’ them.

They are the single biggest change in decades to this much-valued public resource.
Yet almost nothing is known about them.

How many are there?

A possible estimate is 300* – but there are no official figures.
Many more are in the pipeline, with more transfer plans expected.


What kind of library service do they provide?

Do they work at all?

There has been almost no credible research on the subject.

 

SPEAK UP FOR LIBRARIES SAYS THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

 

With hundreds of libraries becoming ‘community-managed’ – with central government encouragement – it is high time to find out the truth, good or bad.


SUFL wants to hear from anyone with a view about these volunteer-led libraries in the UK, whether they are a volunteer, a library worker or a library user.

  • What works well and what doesn’t?
  • What are the challenges and considerations?
  • What is the impact on the library service and what do you see as the future?

 

The information will be used to inform SUFL’s advocacy.  A summary of the evidence will be published.  All information received will be anonymised unless specific permission has been given to identify the contributor and the names of library or library service.

Please email queries, comments and information to SpeakUp4Libraries@gmail.com

 

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Views on volunteer-led libraries sought

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Speak Up for Libraries would welcome hearing from anyone with a view about volunteer-led ‘libraries’ in the UK (often called ‘Community Libraries’), whether it be that of a volunteer, a library worker or a library user.

What works well and what doesn’t?

What are the challenges and considerations?

What is the impact on the library service and what do you see as the future?

The information you provide will be used to inform SUFL advocacy and that of its coalition partners.

A summary of the evidence will be published. All information received will be anonymised unless specific permission has been given to identify the contributor and the names of library or library service.

Please email queries, comments and information to SpeakUp4Libraries@gmail.com

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2013 SUFL Conference Outcomes

The 2013 Speak Up For Libraries conference was a very positive and productive day. A number of workshops were held to get a sense of what library supporters need to help protect the public library service.

The workshops also served the purpose of helping to direct the future work of the Speak Up For Libraries coalition.

Download the workshop feedback

What help do library campaigners need

  • A central (online?) information point where campaigners et al can go to for data, legislation, reports, good practice etc is needed. Needs to be kept up to date.
  • A centralised list of groups and campaigns involved in protecting the public library. More networking between groups and sharing of experiences, advice, strategies etc.
  • We need a full time person to co-ordinate resources and a national campaign.
  • There is an urgent need to make Councillors, Senior Officers and politicians more aware of what libraries do and what they can achieve. There is a need for more joined up thinking in local and central government, linking libraries in with other strategies.
  • There is an urgent need for a clearer leadership structure within the public library sector and a desperate need for enforceable standards.
  • More emphasis on positive stories and more evidence about the socio-economic impact of libraries is needed.
  • Targeted promotion of library services locally and nationally especially to non-users. Prioritise outreach. Use social media more to reach targeted audiences.

the panel 2013

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High profile speakers complete Speak Up For Libraries conference line-up

High profile speakers complete Speak Up For Libraries conference line-up

A range of influential figures from the most important organisations in public library services have confirmed as speakers at the Speak Up For Libraries conference, which takes place on 23 November in London.

The speakers are:

  • Yinnon Ezra, Advisor for Libraries at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
  • Brian Ashley, Director, Libraries at Arts Council England (ACE)
  • Janene Cox, President, The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL)
  • Alan Gibbons, author and founder of Campaign for the Book
  • Phil Bradley, President, the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP)
  • Heather Wakefield, Head of Local Government, UNISON
  • Steve Davies, Lecturer in Social Sciences, University of Cardiff

The conference aims to support those that care about their libraries – including library users, campaigners and staff – to understand more about the challenges facing libraries, what can be done and to set a national agenda.

Delegates will have the chance to hear what experts think the future of public libraries looks like, to discuss what local campaigns need and ask speakers their questions.

The Speak Up For Libraries conference takes place on Saturday 23 November in central London. Event details and booking: https://speakupforlibraries.eventbrite.co.uk/

Speak Up For Libraries is a coalition of organisations and campaigners working to protect libraries and library staff, now and in the future. Speak Up For Libraries partners include The Campaign for the Book, CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals, The Library Campaign, UNISON and Voices for the Library.

NB – If you want to pass on information to those not online, you can find our booking form on the resources page

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