Incorporates: Asian Libraries
Online from: 1898
Subject Area: Library and Information Studies
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Article citation: Linda Ashcroft, (2008) "Editorial", New Library World, Vol. 109 Iss: 11/12, pp. -
The Central Buying Consortium (CBC) in the UK has achieved what many thought was impossible by cutting costs with a core servicing specification agreed by all its 38 public library authority members.. This common specification has enabled suppliers to reduce the cost of servicing and pass on the savings to CBC. Part of the evaluation focused on the ability of suppliers to work with authorities to standardise, streamline and automate stock acquisition. The paper from Garthwait and Richardson takes a different angle on library consortia. They discuss measuring library service quality in a consortium, wherein it may be more difficult to appraise. They discuss the use of LibQUAL+™ library assessment suite for this purpose, detailing the experience of the Keystone Library Network, a statewide library consortium.
Halton (UK) Borough Council’s library service widely publicised their mobile library service and provided new stops at nurseries, outside schools at closing time, at sheltered housing, and in parks on Saturdays – all of which are proving popular. The result is that visits to Halton’s mobile libraries more than doubled last year. Issues rose by 45 per cent and active membership was up by 155 per cent. While mobile library services may be a useful way to reach rural communities, in her paper Dent Goodman provides an overview of rural library services and the rural village library, which have long served different populations on the continent of Africa. Her study provides support for the village/community library concept as being a potentially powerful solution for the provision of reading materials in rural areas, with the potential also to play an important role in the eradication of illiteracy and development of a reading culture.
The Jodie Awards (www.jodiawards.org.uk) are for libraries that use technology to provide disabled people with access to collections and learning, such as web sites, audio guides, interactive objects, PDAs, etc. There is a new award in association with the Rix Centre in the area of learning disability, which challenges the sector to deploy creativity for people with a learning disability. Such projects will be entered in the five existing categories, which are – people with a learning difficulty, web access, low budget web access, accessible ICT and low budget accessible ICT. Holmes, in her paper, considers the findings from sample surveys conducted with adults with developmental disabilities to determine their library usage, attitudes and needs. She incorporates suggestions for possible actions to assist these patrons, including opening a dialogue between librarians and social services professionals who may not see the library as the valuable resource it is.
Public libraries in the UK will be looking at which 35 National Indicators have been selected for inclusion in their Local Area Agreement plan, so as to consider how the library service can help achieve them and build up evidence. There is a set of 198 National Indicators (NI) meant to cover all areas that local councils are involved in, all of which are measured by government inspectors. However, local councils also select 35 for special attention after consulting local people about their priorities. While NI 110 is about young people’s participation in positive activities (obviously relevant to libraries), NI 9 is the only NI about libraries, which measures increase in adult residents who use them. Kostagiolas’s paper focuses on Greece, considering strategic planning for municipal libraries, where they form the largest category of public libraries and are facing new challenges in an era of reduced financial resources. Kostagiolas discusses research findings and a number of issues facing the libraries, which demonstrates the need to develop long-term planning in Greek municipal/public libraries.
One of the points in The Transparent Library (www.libraryjournal.com/community/Casey%2FStephens+The+Transparent+Library/47356.html) is that it should establish “ways for our users to talk to us and among themselves with tools like blogs and wikis, community open houses, outreach events and surveys”. The authors, Michael Stephens and Michael Casey, ask whether we hear users and staff when they ask for change and new services and when they say that something is not working. They say that “open communication means talking to the staff and the community about the library’s mission, plans for new services, and idea building”. Opperman and Jamison discuss new roles for an academic library in their paper. They consider user statistics, which back up informal observations and carry management value. Their paper provides baseline data for librarians evaluating “library as place” innovations and transforming the physical library into a more inviting campus destination.
Earlier this year CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) approved a trainee pilot scheme for black and minority ethnic employees. Encompass is an affordable positive action scheme which will be run in partnership with Path International Ltd, a skills development agency which seeks to address the under-representation of black and ethnic minority groups in management and the professions (including the LIS sector). 95 per cent of the agency’s candidates secure permanent and senior positions on finishing their training. CILIP’s Equal Opportunities and Diversity Panel, which has been frustrated by lack of funding in the past, see this as a breakthrough. In her paper, Elturk considers multi-cultural society in a broader context. She suggests ways by which libraries and other organisations can address changes occurring in multicultural societies and help to bridge gaps between diverse communities. She investigates various learning, teaching and communicating styles amongst cultures and provides many insights and examples, highlighting the need for inclusiveness.