Falkirk’s library lovers to have a say

Falkirk Library has a key role to play in the new strategy
Falkirk Library has a key role to play in the new strategy

Bosses have invited book 
lovers to help shape the future of the public library service.

A draft outline of the way it can be developed has been approved by the board of Falkirk Community Trust and now gone out to consultation.

The plan is to deliver a service that is valued by the local community, meets customers expectations and still affordable for the Trust to deliver.

Lesley O’Hare, culture and libraries manager, said: “The consultation is a ‘call to arms’ to staff, users and non-users to become involved.

“It is an opportunity for debate and discussion and to generate ideas and suggestions that will help give direction to the way ahead for library services across Falkirk district and ensure the they are valued, relevant, well-used and sustainable.”

Consultation will run until September and there are various ways for the public to have its voice heard:

n Drop-in sessions have been scheduled to be held in all libraries between July and August

n There will be an online questionnaire on the Trust’s website

n You can give informal feedback to staff at your local library

n Comments can be left on the Trust’s Facebook page and via its Twitter feed

Copies of the draft are available in libraries as well as the Trust’s website www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/libraries/

The first national strategy for Scotland’s public libraries aims to refresh what they offer to ensure as many people as possible benefit from what they can provide.

The vision, ‘Ambition and Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020’ was presented to the annual Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIPS) conference earlier this month.

Gordon Hunt, chair of the Scottish Library and Information Council, told delegates: “We know Scotland’s libraries are well loved, trusted and valuable assets in our communities and their role is as critical today as it was when they were first established.

“However, we need to refresh what the service offers and ensure as many people as possible benefit from what our libraries can provide. We are going to build on its strengths.”

Lesley O’Hare added: “Libraries worldwide are at a crucial point in their evolution.

“With information, knowledge and culture accessible 24/7 via smartphones, tablets and laptops, libraries must be more than just repositories of books. The national strategy emphasises that, despite a rapidly-changing digital world, libraries remain critical as community hubs - places for human interaction. We see the strategy as a valuable tool.”