Welcome to the new look Voices for the Library website!

Got something to say about your public library? Then get in touch and we’ll share your story.

It’s been almost three years since we launched Voices for the Library. Over that time our website had grown rather large and difficult to navigate, so we decided it was time to freshen things up and give it a long overdue overhaul. We have been conscious for some time of the need to make the site more user-friendly and we hope this new look goes some way to making it easier to find the information you require. We’re not in the habit of changing for the sake of change, but we think most people would agree that we needed to make some substantial changes to the site. We’re really proud of our new look, and we hope you like it just as much as us. Do feel free to either submit a comment below or drop us a line if you would like to send us some feedback.

As well as making the site easier to navigate, we have added our “Library Manifesto”. The Manifesto emerged as a result of a consultation last year with our followers on both Facebook and Twitter. We wanted to know what people felt public libraries should commit to and asked them to help us formulate a ‘manifesto’ that would act as a short statement of our beliefs and something that encapsulates what we (library users and Voices for the Library) believe are important about our public library service. We pulled the feedback together and came up with ten key points that reflect the input we received from you.  We believe this manifesto should form the cornerstone of a modern public library service. We thank everyone who helped in its formulation and we hope everyone can agree that it outlines the very least we should expect.

As part of our changes, we have also decided the time is right to change our Twitter name. We have an attachment to @ukpling for reasons that are best known to all of those who have been involved in Voices for the Library since the very first day we came together and decided that we needed to do something in support of public libraries – UKPling actually stands for UK Public Libraries In Need Group. As time passed and we became Voices for the Library, the name UKPling became less meaningful. With that in mind, and considering the limits imposed on Twitter accounts, we have decided to change our name to @VftL_UK. We think that makes the association between the Twitter account and Voices for the Library clearer than perhaps it was before. If you already follow us, you don’t need to do a thing. If you don’t follow us, we suggest you head on over to Twitter and hit ‘follow’!

We have also refreshed the design, with a new banner image and background. Once again, our thanks go to Lorraine Moss at Rain Creative, a keen library supporter who worked with us on the design elements and very kindly offered them to us free of charge.   Lorraine’s work has been used across all of our platforms (website, Facebook and both of our Twitter accounts) and we are very grateful to her for her continued support.

We would also like to thank Suffolk Libraries for the fantastic image on our home page.  We recently asked people to send in interesting images and one would be chosen to feature on our new homepage. We were delighted to receive permission from both Suffolk libraries and the parents of the child in the photo to use this image on our new look front page. Thank you to you both for allowing us to use the image to welcome people to our new look website.

As well as @VftL_UK on Twitter, you can follow its sister account @voiceslibrary where a different library worker or supporter will be tweeting every week, shining a spotlight on what happens in libraries and information centres across the country. And don’t forget our Facebook Page where you can also keep up to date with the latest public library news.

Thank you to all of our supporters over the past three years. Without you we wouldn’t still be here, highlighting the importance of our public library service and the difference they make to communities across the country. So thank you for all the tweets, retweets, ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ on the various social media channels. The more people spreading the word about the value of our public library service, the more difficult it becomes for those in power to ignore us and to remove an institution that remains a vital part of our society in the 21st century.

Tweet your support for Voices for the Library!