(Almost) everything you wanted to know about Libraries Inspire, but were too afraid to ask.
What is Libraries Inspire?
Libraries Inspire is the library strategy for Wales for 2012-16. Libraries are a devolved matter, meaning they are the responsibility of the Welsh Government, Scottish Parliament, Westminster etc. In Wales, Welsh Government funding will accompany the strategy each year to enable projects to be achieved.
When does Libraries Inspire start?
Libraries Inspire technically starts in April 2012 and will run until March 2016. It was officially launched by the then Minister for Housing, Regeneration, and Heritage, Huw Lewis AM, in November 2011 as part of the Libraries Fortnight.
What has happened to Libraries for Life?
Libraries for Life was the previous strategy for libraries in Wales and ran from 2008-2011. The evaluation report can be found on the CyMAL website or a short blog post here.
So what’s Libraries Inspire all about?
Our shared vision is: “Libraries will inspire the people of Wales to enjoy reading, enhance their knowledge and skills, to enrich their quality of life and empower them to realise their full potential” (p. 7)
There are seven work strands to Libraries Inspire which are:
- Sustainable models of service delivery
- Resources for all
- Space for all
- Skills for life
- Investing in people
- Attracting the audience
- Delivering a quality service
You can read more about each strand in the document. We sent print copies to all library services in Wales, and other relevant organisations. If your library service hasn’t got any copies, please let me know.
Who’s doing what?
Each strand is led either by CyMAL staff or by an external provider on behalf of the library sector in Wales, with a CyMAL member of staff as a key link. There is also a programme manager (me – Alyson!), although I do this on top of my day job. The distribution of work areas is below:
- Sustainable models of service delivery – Huw Evans and Helen Williams in CyMAL
- Resources for all – National Library of Wales team with Alyson (me)
- Space for all – Huw Evans CyMAL
- Skills for life – Helen Williams CyMAL
- Investing in people – CyMAL
- Attracting the audience – Wrexham CBC, and Alyson in CyMAL
- Delivering a quality service – Sarah Horton and Mary Ellis in CyMAL (Welsh Public library Standards), and me for the programme management and research bits.
As with Libraries for Life there is an Advisory Group made up of representatives of the main library sectors in Wales and other appropriate organisations. The current list of people on the Advisory Group is below:
- Public libraries (represented by six members of SCL Wales): Gareth Evans (Caerphilly), Steve Hardman (Swansea), Dylan Hughes (Wrexham), Ann Jones (Monmouthshire), Robat Arwel Jones (Denbighshire), Elspeth Morris (Cardiff) and Karen Mills (SCL-W Development Officer)
- Higher education libraries (represented by two members of WHELF): Julie Hart (Aberystwyth University), Anne Harvey (Swansea Metropolitan University)
- Further education libraries (represented by one LRC manager and RSC Wales): Mark Ludlum (Gower College Swansea) and Sharon Crossan (RSC Wales)
- Health libraries – represented by Tricia Chapman (Hywel Dda Health Board)
- There are also representatives of the Welsh Local Government Association, the Department of Information Studies at Aberystwyth University, the Welsh Government library service, CILIP Cymru, the National Library of Wales and the marketing project officers who both lead on strands.
Currently the Advisory Group meet every four months to discuss progress and future activities.
How do I get involved?
There will be annual published delivery plans which outline that year’s tasks and activities. Different library sectors will be leading on different activities. Many of the projects will be cross-sector and library staff should speak to their line managers and heads of service if there are interested in particular areas e.g. the marketing.
If you have any questions I haven’t addressed please let me know.