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.
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.