In October 2019 Libraries Connected received funding from Arts Council England to support a process of consultation and co-creation to develop a form of accreditation for public libraries in England.
Following wide ranging consultation and input from the library sector to define the aims of the scheme, we are now ready to pilot it. This is an exciting opportunity to test out the draft approach in a safe, supported environment.
The accreditation scheme aims to provide an assessment of each library service to demonstrate how it:
- Monitors and responds to user and community needs
- Develops resources, activities, services and collections to meet these needs
- Is managed, funded, staffed and resourced to meet these needs.
We are running two pilots over the next few months for the project. The first pilot is with Suffolk, Northamptonshire and Reading library services, who are going to test out the whole scheme in detail, completing the self-assessment and taking part in an external challenge.
The second pilot is a lighter touch test where library services can volunteer to review the scheme. Any library service can take part and they do not need to meet any specific criteria. They will simply be asked to provide feedback on the self-assessment and suggest any ideas that would help to improve the process.
We are also delighted that The Library Campaign have agreed to join the second pilot and submit a response on behalf of the Libraries Campaign as it’s vitally important to understand the user perspective on this scheme.
This work has been supported by a project board whose membership includes: CILIP, ACE, National Archives, British Library and the Local Government Association and is being managed by Shared Intelligence.