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WHY READ? Making the case for Library services in the 21 st Century. Marc Lambert, SBT.

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Presentation on theme: "WHY READ? Making the case for Library services in the 21 st Century. Marc Lambert, SBT."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHY READ? Making the case for Library services in the 21 st Century. Marc Lambert, SBT

2 The pantomime villain Libraries have been around too long. They have had their day and are no longer relevant. Terry Deary

3 The Feisty Heroine "It's about equality of opportunity." Zadie Smith

4 The Voice of Wisdom The provision of literature for self-advancement or for pleasure promotes literacy, cultural awareness, and social and emotional competence. In addition to this libraries are social spaces hosting a many and varied range of activities. The library is the beating heart of a community. Theresa Breslin

5 Scottish Attitudes

6 Community importance of Libraries

7 Library Use - Annually

8 Library Use - Monthly

9 Library expenditure

10 Public Attitudes - UK Between 2005/11 library use fell. 38.1% read for pleasure, but didnt visit a library in last year. The public library brand is strong, but awareness of libraries offer is low.

11 Jim Sheridan MP Paisley & Renfrewshire North Policy makers I have been a local councillor, and if I am faced with a decision of keeping either a local health centre or a library open, it is a no-brainer. People would say to me, close the library.

12 Public attitudes to services Which areas of public spending so you think should be protected from any cuts? NHS 82% Schools 58% Social Services 15% Local Authorities 6% Future Trends Review, Ipsos Mori 2009

13 Public attitudes - contradictions Only 6% think LA spending should be protected from cuts, yet... 70% happy with Libraries, 40% happy with Museums & Galleries. Yet.. (Ipsos Mori 2008 Place Survey) 2005/2011 audience numbers for Museums and Galleries overtook those for Libraries. (DCMS, Taking Part Survey, 2005/11) 38.1% of public read for pleasure, but not visited a library in last year. 76% of all Library visitors are visiting to borrow a book to read for pleasure. 76% of Scots think libraries are essential, less than half (47%) said they were essential to them personally – why?

14 Key questions 30% are less satisfied with Museums & Galleries than with libraries but more people go! 38% of the public who read for pleasure failed to visit a library in the last year. WHY?

15 Encouraging library use

16 Developing audiences Communicate more effectively and more creatively about the services they provide... (A New Chapter, Carnegie UK Trust report) The public library brand is strong, but awareness of libraries offer is low. (What Do The Public Want From Libraries, Ipsos Mori/MLA 2010)

17 Developing audiences (cont) A stronger national narrative around purpose... Libraries need to state their purpose imaginatively and boldly... A strong national narrative around improvement... (Envisioning the library of the future, ACE/Ipsos Mori, 2013)

18 Creating a new NARRATIVE (comms & marketing) Old narrative - negative stereotypes. Change the level of the debate. We need a new positive narrative. Effective, persistent marketing and communication. Museums & Galleries vs Libraries example.

19 Re-imagining Scotland

20 Libraries - a universal national service

21 Demographics – who is using libraries? The percentage of age groups that has visited a library in 2010/11: Early years 16 – 24 yrs 34% 25 – 44 yrs 45% 45 – 64 yrs 36% 65 – 74 yrs 44% 75 + yrs 37% All of the population is represented (Taking Part Survey, DCMS 2011)

22 A strong national narrative about purpose Opportunity... Not about independence. Not party political. Literature is in with the bricks and mortar.

23 Literature and Scotland People who care nothing for their country's stories and songs... are like people without a past - without a memory - they are half people. (Alasdair Gray, 1992).

24 Libraries are co-creators of literature in Scotland The notion of Lanark and Thaw's stories being parts of the same book came from The English Epic And Its Background by EMW Tillyard, discovered in Denniston public library... The steel and the bite of the ballads, so remorseless and yet so lyrical, entered my literary bloodstream, never to depart.

25 Creating readers – schools? Schools are not creating readers. You can teach someone to read % of P4 pupils agree a lot with the statement I enjoy reading. By S2 this has dropped to 29%. 69% of P4 pupils agree a lot with the statement I enjoy learning. By S2 this has dropped to 34% (Scottish Survey of Literacy and numeracy 2012, SG)

26 Creating readers – parents? Parents arent creating readers. 90% of teens and 60% of 5 & 6 year olds have their own TV. On average TV is watched nearly 5 and a half hours a day. 2,000 hours of TV a year - twice as much time spent in class. Less creative in problem solving, less able to persevere at tasks, less tolerant of unstructured time and more tired. (Carlisle & Hanlon, 2013)

27 The social dimension Ah dinna ken whit like your Scotland is. Heres mines... Life expectancy. Child wellbeing. Deprivation/academic performance. Illiteracy. Prison population. Inequality. Ageing population.

28 Cost of illiteracy 18% of Scottish children leave school without literacy skills. (Literacy working group 2008). 70% of prisoners in Scotland functionally illiterate. £40,000 annually to keep one person in jail. Basic cost - 340m. Survey of 566 employers - 42% not satisfied with the basic use of English. (Building for Growth, CBI, 2011)

29 Inequality Costs (Social Justice) Inequality causes shorter, unhealthier and unhappier lives, it increases the rate of teenage pregnancy, violence, obesity, imprisonment and addiction. It corrodes the social fabric and the quality of social relationships throughout society Richard Wilkinson and Kate Picket, Penguin, 2009

30 Illiteracy equals inequality; inequality equals illiteracy If a person has low levels of literacy, they are more likely to suffer poor health; they are more likely to be living in poverty and deprivation; and they are more likely to be out of work or in unstable and low-paid employment. (Sir Harry Burns) Recent surveys have confirmed that literacy skills are linked to socio- economic status and level of deprivation... (Literacy Action Plan, SG)

31 Literacy and Democracy How do we encourage literacy in this world?... literacy is essential to whatever vestiges of democracy we have." Margaret Atwood

32 Narrative to the public Policy narrative also works for the public... But public need to be motivated to participate...

33 Collaborative working Bookbug & Bookbug sessions Scottish Childrens Book Awards Scottish Friendly Touring Programme Authors Live with BBC Live Literature Funding Readers in Residence Public Writing Programmes Book Week Scotland Scottish Poetry Library Scottish Storytelling Centre Reading Agency Reader Organisation

34 Collaborative packaging and marketing Visible and voluble champions of reading Access to audiences Savings on costs – ready made programmes which can be customised Public profile & visibility – talking about success Clarity of communication – what the public wants

35 Why read? narrative Read to Live Gustave Flaubert

36 Readers are blessed Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have loved reading... (Virginia Woolf)


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