Joint initiative to set out the future of the public library workforce

The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) and CILIP, the UK’s library and information association have announced a new initiative to make sure the public library workforce continues to meet the changing needs of today’s audiences.

The initiative will see the creation of a ‘UK Public Library Skills Strategy’, helping public libraries to attract, retain and develop talent, develop digital skills and deliver value for their funders and service users.

Nick Poole, CILIP CEO said, “Public libraries have never played such a central, multi-faceted role in their communities as they do today. From reading programmes to Code Clubs, helping people get online or apply for jobs, supporting health and wellbeing and building partnerships with local organisations – public librarians are committed to helping people help themselves and get on in life. Through the UK Public Library Skills Strategy we want to equip the public library workforce with the skills to make the most of the digital revolution, drive change and deliver outstanding customer service for their users.”

Alison Wheeler Chair of the Skills Strategy steering group said, “We have an impressive team of people representing the breadth of the public library sector already at work on a future vision which will help us to retain and attract talent, to forecast the skills we need for the future and help us to understand what training and development staff need. We’ve set an invigorating and ambitious pace for this work, together, as a recognition there has never been a more timely moment for this initiative.”

The Public Library Skills Strategy will support Local Authorities and organisations that provide library services with their staff development, training and recruitment. As the public’s needs and expectations of library services change, so the library’s core offer and services must anticipate and meet demand. The skills of staff are essential to provide quality services that are well-promoted and delivered in person and digitally with outstanding customer service.

The Strategy will be developed through a series of workshops and opportunities for the library workforce to provide their ideas and feedback. Launch is planned for Spring 2017, as part of a co-ordinated series of developments to improve and modernise library services through the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce.


Press contact

Mark Taylor
Director of External Relations, CILIP
Tel: 020 7255 0654
Mobile: 07792 635 305