Labour Party Consultation on Public Library Policy

Helen Goodman MP, Shadow Minister for Culture, the Creative Industries and Communications, is calling for comments to help inform Labour’s future policy towards public libraries. Helen sets out a series of questions that she sees as crucial to informing their policy as they move towards writing the Labour Party manifesto for the general election in 2015. Comments to the following questions are requested to be sent by 30th June to her office via

  1. Do you have any examples of good practice where libraries have taught digital skills?
  2. What are your thoughts on using libraries as centres through which we can tackle digital exclusion?
  3. Do you have any examples of good practice in co-location? What services might be co-located?
  4. Is this something with which you agree, and what would you like an amended framework to look like?
  5. Is Arts Council England the right body to carry out this work? Have your local libraries had support from ACE and in what capacity?
  6. Do you feel there needs to be an independent professional leadership body? What form would this take?
  7. What do you feel is the role of the British Library in supporting public libraries?
  8. The Welsh Government recently released an updated public library standards document.  What are your views on the document and do you believe adopting a library standards framework is desirable in England?
  9. What are your views on this?
  10. What do you think the right specification for volunteers might be? Should there be a code/codes of practice for unpaid work?
  11. How can library workers be given a say in the running of the service?
  12. What functions do you think could be shared? What potential savings could there be?
  13. Do you have any examples of good practice?

Please do send in your views by 30th June and let Helen know your thoughts on how the public library service should be delivered. This is a real opportunity to try to influence party policy on the issue and the more people who engage with the consultation the better.

The full briefing document can be found here (with thanks to Public Libraries News).