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Library Consultation

Library Consultation Final Report from ERS

A report setting out a framework for the future of the library service in Swindon is now available.

The proposal for a vision and strategy is the main recommendation of a month-long review by consultants commissioned jointly by Swindon Borough Council and the MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archives Council).  The review was carried out for Swindon Borough Council by consultants ERS.

The MLA, working in conjunction with Swindon Borough Council, believe that the report provides the best framework for a strategic review of the library service.

Jon Finch MLA Area Director of Engagement said:  “The report sets out a practical guide to how Swindon can develop its library service and make the best use of available resources.  We will be happy to continue to offer our advice to the council to achieve this.  The report provides very useful examples of best practice, collected by the MLA from around the country.  These include the effective use of co-location, where Council services are grouped together, and the benefits of a ‘mixed economy’ of skills within the library service ranging from community engagement to partnership working and marketing.  Other examples include the Library Links model where access to library services can be provided at relatively low cost and the effective use of volunteers.”

Councillor Fionuala Foley, Deputy Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said:  “We jointly commissioned this report to allow us to make the best decision for the future of the library service and its users.  I’m pleased that the recommendations about the future of the libraries at Old Town, Even Swindon and Gorse Hill mirror the recommendations in our own report that we will be considering at our Cabinet meeting on 22 July.”

An analysis of the Swindon Library Service in the report concludes that any Council strategy document should take into account the needs of the community and establish minimum levels of service that library users can expect.  The report also recognises that Swindon’s substantial capital investment in the infrastructure of the Library Service, with the opening of the new Central Library and refurbishment of other libraries, has been very positive.

ERS Report July 2009  (522Kb Downloadable PDF File)

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