Taskforce sets out roadmap for 2020
In 2016, the Libraries Taskforce for England set out a vision for the future with the publication of Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016-2021.
It has now published an updated Action Plan which takes their activity through to 2020. The action plan details how the Taskforce will achieve its four priorities, breaking them down into goals for each year. The end result should mean the Taskforce has achieved the outcomes that were set out in the original Ambition document.
With inaugural Chief Executive Kathy Settle stepping down from her role this month, the Taskforce will be guided through a transitional period by the interim Head of Taskforce team Sheila Bennett, and Taskforce Chair Kim Bromley-Derry. Kim recently blogged about the four main goals identified by the Taskforce for this year, next year and 2020. These are: promoting public libraries to the public and to decision-makers; providing library services and potential partners with easy access to evidence and data to inform their decision-making; providing clearly signposted, step by step guidance and peer support; and helping the sector (paid staff and volunteers) obtain the insights, skills and support it needs for the future.
This year the Taskforce will work to “revitalise the public libraries brand”, offering free-to-use resources for campaigns and communications, and deliver “joined-up programmes of promotional activity” to support its promotion of library services. It will also reiterate to local authorities the important role of libraries and staff in delivering the 7 strategic objectives set out in Ambition:
- cultural and creative enrichment
- increased reading and literacy
- improved digital access and literacy
- helping everyone achieve their full potential
- healthier and happier lives
- greater prosperity
- stronger, more resilient communities
2018 will also see a push to encourage library services to collect and publish data in open data formats, to assist evidence-based decision-making.
DCMS funding for the taskforce, currently at £500,000 per year, will end in March 2020 and so during the next two years the Taskforce will discuss how Taskforce member organisations will support public libraries in England into the future.
Chair Kim Bromley-Derry said: “We have already started thinking about how work that the dedicated Taskforce team is doing starts to become mainstreamed into other Taskforce member organisations. This will provide opportunities for the Taskforce to become ever more sector-led, with individual Taskforce member organisations stepping up to take more of a lead on certain aspects of its work.”
Read the action plan