The Society of Chief Librarians have detailed four ‘Universal Offers’ for the future of public libraries. It’s been developed by the Society of Chief Librarians and partners including Arts Council England and The Reading Agency.
- Four Offers – Health, Reading, Information, and Digital – are the four service areas which modern users regard as integral to public libraries.
- The new national approach will, for the first time, clarify what the public to expect from their public libraries. They also identify where libraries can provide real value to local people.
Janene Cox, President of the Society of Chief Librarians, said: “These offers focus upon the service areas that our customers tell us are important and they enable libraries to continue to develop these service areas.” “Challenging times do require innovative thinking and we are determined within SCL that services will continue to progress and develop so that libraries can continue to make a difference to the communities that they serve.”
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP said: “Libraries continue to be an essential part of our local communities. They entertain and educate, they act as meeting places and important sources of local information. The four Universal Offers clearly shows the range of services libraries now offer and this national approach will help ensure all libraries keep pace with these changing demands.”
“The public library service is in good health. There were 256 million visits to England’s 3,243 libraries in 2011-12 with three quarters of children and 40 per cent of adults using our libraries. These are phenomenal statistics that show the strength and relevance of public libraries.”