Extending the Role of Libraries: Final Report

Angharad Reakes, Anne Lines, Christopher Savory

01 November 2004

Public libraries have been established for over a century, providing lending and information services. However, there has been an overall reduction in the number of books being borrowed in recent years, leading to speculation about the future of library services.

This report presents the findings of a study that examined the provision that public libraries offer communities over and above their traditional role as lending and information services.

Key findings concern:

  • partnership working
  • funding
  • targeting user groups
  • the role of library staff
  • national and local support.

The study makes recommendations both for libraries and for central and local government in response to issues identified.

This report is important reading for all library and information professionals, for local authorities and all groups looking to make more of their library resources.

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