Communities around the country will have the chance to test drive an ambitious change programme for libraries. The programme is driven by local authorities, around the needs of the public. It will help library authorities to look at how best they provide their services and look beyond organisational boundaries.
The initial ten phase one areas, chosen for their individual strengths, type of project, geographical spread, and rural and urban mix, are:
- Northumberland with Durham
- Bolton, with Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan
- Lincolnshire, with Rutland, Cambridgeshire, North East Lincs, Peterborough
- Oxfordshire with Kent
- Herefordshire with Shropshire
- Cornwall with Devon, Plymouth, Torbay
- Lewisham with Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Lambeth and Southwark
- Kensington & Chelsea with Hammersmith & Fulham
Safe and inclusive
“A strong library service, based around the needs of local people, can play a key role in our ambitions to build the Big Society by providing safe and inclusive spaces for people to read, learn and access a range of community services,” explained Ed Vaizey, Culture Minister.
Formed by national and local government, and driven by councils, the programme will spread learning between library authorities to achieve cost savings, new partnerships and governance models, and to take advantage of digital opportunities.
The Museums Libraries and Archive Council and the Local Government Association Group will begin work immediately with packages of support and advice for each of the projects. Planning for the second phase of the programme is already underway and the successes and experiences of each project can be shared with library authorities across the country.