WHY LIBRARIES MATTER
(see also PROMOTE LIBRARIES below)
- Guide to the benefits of libraries, backed by research and quotes.
- Fun resource by librarians and library users, dispelling myths such as ‘libraries are boring/irrelevant’.
- The value of literacy, and libraries’ role in supporting it (for both children and adults). The National Literacy Trust’s huge website of ideas, resources and above all research.
WHAT LIBRARIES CAN DO
- Descriptions/videos of 39 successful projects for all kinds of library users, all winners of CILIP’s Libraries Change Lives award. Archive goes back to 1992. Inspiring!
- Website of The Reading Agency – an inspiring charity that has developed loads of ideas, from kids’ reading to digital marketing.
- Library facts from the Reading Agency.
- Links to lots of inspiring projects from CILIP
PROMOTE YOUR CAMPAIGN
- Free! Wide choice of witty campaign posters based on wartime classics, adapted by librarian Phil Bradley. Free to download (and copyright-free).
- Phil also sells a range of campaigning posters, badges (2 for £2.50), mugs (£10.95), T-shirts, keyrings, ties, baseball caps, bags (£8.50), bumper stickers, cards/postcards. You can customise the posters with your name/slogan etc. Not cheap, but profits go to charity.
- Free! Colour poster with the message: ‘A trained librarian is a search engine with a heart’ by artist Sarah McIntyre. Free to download.
- Free! Marketing resource by librarian Ned Potter with (fairly sophisticated) ideas, examples and resources (eg, sources of copyright-free photos).
- Free! Bright, brief, highly readable promo material from the Carnegie Trust, including a printable colour handout. Plus four comprehensive lists of research ( with links to the full reports) on the public library’s role as social hub, learning hub, cultural centre and economic enabler. Highly recommended.
- Free! Poster from the Society of Chief Librarians, setting out the four ‘Universal Offers’ – reading, information, health, digital – that nearly all library services have signed up to. Plus – the same info in at-a-glance booklet form, with extra info on how popular libraries are.Free to download.
- Free! The Library A-Z, a set of colour poster, post-cards and booklet showing all the many things libraries provide, with text giving real-life examples. Compiled by librarians and the public.Free to download.
- Free! Promote your reference service. If your library subscribes to Oxford University Press reference titles (Oxford English Dictionary etc) – and it probably does – you can access through your librarian, colour posters, regular quizzes and lots of promotional material and ideas. Geared to OUP publications, but all free.
LIBRARIES IN DANGER
- The Damage: UNISON report on the effects of cuts in council-run libraries… so far.
- Women’s Institute report says that volunteers cannot fill the gap.
- Lists of local groups/campaigns, regularly updated.
- Advice on lobbying – geared to Scots, but useful.
- Huge toolkit of ideas/advice aimed at US librarians, but useful.
- Briefing on the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act that makes it a legal duty for councils to provide a ‘comprehensive and efficient’ library service.
- Legal challenges: the basic arguments, how to fund, current & past cases.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR LIBRARY SERVICE?
- 10-point manifesto/checklist written by librarians after consultation with library users.
- You can get some very useful info comparing your council’s performance and spending patterns with other similar services from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). Their full reports are only available for purchase and are pricey. However they publish ‘comparative profiles’ enabling you to get some idea of how your library service cares with others. Their main page on library statistics is here with the links to annual profiles on the right hand side. as there re several years’ worth published, it may be useful to compare with the previous year’s figures to see if your library service is suffering disproportionate cuts.
- The Welsh Public Library Standards set out what a library service should provide, and now include outcome measures to show the benefits of using libraries.
NB: Public Library Standards for England have, most unfortunately, been abolished. Purely as a reminder, you can see them here
Free! Fun video ‘The Magic of Libraries’ by Time To Read, the NW Libraries reader development partnership, who are ‘happy for it to be shared as widely as possible’.
Can you spot the 10 books featured? If you need help, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Free! Video – ‘Don’t Close our Libraries’ song, illustrated with dozens of individual users holding up their library cards
Need cheering up? Free! Video – ‘What’s wrong with Ed Vaizey?’ that takes a dig at government inertia.