by Arts Council — published in 2013

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A response to Envisioning the library of the future by Arts Council England Chief Executive Alan Davey.

More people are living alone, the population is ageing and more varied, technology continues to advance rapidly, and pressure is growing on public expenditure. At the same time people expect and are encouraged to have a greater say in the public services they use.

Recent debate about libraries has been intense. Much of the focus has been on short-term issues of funding, the closure of libraries and a perceived tension between books and digital technology. As a result, an understanding of how libraries will contribute to the future success and well-being of this country hasn’t developed.

Public libraries have always adapted and renewed themselves to meet the changing needs of people and communities. Books and information are supplied at speeds that were unimaginable a generation ago,
changes from vinyl discs through cassettes and CDs to music downloads have been made, and the comedy stereotype of stern librarians hushing library users has been consigned to history.

So, it is time to re-assert the value, role and purpose of public libraries and point to how they can respond to change in order to remain at the heart of the community.

Library community, Social, Technological, library management, access to information, informal education, digital inclusion, ageing population