Libraries welcome everyone ...
The Arts Council have published (25 July) John Vincent's report on public libraries and equality & diversity, Libraries welcome everyone: six stories of diversity and inclusion from libraries in England.
This report presents the results from ‘desk research’ and a call for examples (which resulted in a terrific response from colleagues across England), plus the findings of six case studies, the aim of which was to explore different aspects of equality and diversity provision as part of a new development in each of the six library services.
"The research found that:
- there is a keen appetite for reading and writing and associated activities, and these can have a huge impact on local communities
- there is growing evidence of the wider benefits of visiting libraries, reading and associated activities, for example on health, wellbeing, tackling loneliness, digital inclusion, improving literacy and digital literacy
- successful library initiatives are those where the piece of work is linked to/drawn from national, regional and local policy priorities
- as well as buildings-based provision, libraries’ outreach and partnership-working are vital, and the research showed the benefits of building strong partnerships with local communities and community organisations, following sensitive consultation as to community needs
- public libraries are making real efforts to engage with local people, especially those who may not regularly use library services
- sustainability of the provision is critical to its longer-term success and impact" [p5]