Facts matter: for an informed, prosperous and healthy society

As librarians and information professionals we see through our work that facts matter and that evidence-based decisions are good decisions that save time and money, increase efficiency, improve safety and change lives.

For business and the economy

  • Better use of information by FTSE 350 companies suggests a potential gain of £44 billion gross operating profit a year and £21 billion savings across the public sector in administrative costs
  • Enterprising Libraries around the UK are engines of innovation and economic growth. Economic impact analysis (2013-2015) shows that the provision of reliable business information through the BIPC network has generated GVA of £38m - a payback of £4.50 for every £1 of public money spent - with an estimated increase to £214m GVA (£25 per £1) by 2018.

For public health

  • CILIP and Health Education England’s campaign A Million Decisions highlights the value of evidence-based decisions in the healthcare sector. Evidence-based decisions meant that Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation saved over £500,000 on procurement for nursing staff; with clinical librarians and knowledge specialists having a significant positive impact on the cost and quality of healthcare.
  • According to research by Arts Council England, using a library service to access information, materials and services is associated with a 1.4% increase in the likelihood of reporting good health and library engagement is associated with a broad range of positive wellbeing outcomes. Combining the value to the individual and in reduced health spending, the health, wellbeing and quality of life benefits of libraries could be valued nationally at around £748.1 million per annum.
  • Reading Well Books on Prescription is a library scheme which has reached nearly half a million users since it was launched in June 2013. 90% of users of the common mental health conditions scheme surveyed found the books helpful for understanding more about their condition.  85% found that reading the books made them feel more confident about managing their symptoms. 55% reported that their symptoms had reduced as a result of reading the books. 

In schools

  • School libraries and librarians help promote democracy, citizenship and political engagement - e.g. Teaching 6th form how to evaluate web and print sources - for usefulness, bias and accuracy; Displays about elections - brief profiles of each of the political parties, how to vote, why you should vote, etc. Promoting where you can find information on political systems, religions, civil rights, refugees, etc. in the library, whilst also promoting fiction based around these themes. Providing a safe space where pupils can access information they need on a wide variety of subjects without judgement. (Thanks to Cath Skipper, Librarian, Campbell College, Belfast)
  • Research Smarter resource sheets for schools produced by the CILIP Information Literacy Group giude pupils to research, find and evaluate information, protect their ideas and think critically.