Wednesday 7 June 2018
Libraries Connected launches today at a national seminar with the new Libraries Minister, Michael Ellis and Chair of Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota.
Formerly known as the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL), Libraries Connected will support and advocate for the power of libraries at the heart of local communities.
With new investment from Arts Council England, the charity will work with their members across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to promote the value of libraries; broker national partnerships; share best practice and drive innovation in the sector.
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England:
‘We are delighted to be supporting Libraries Connected in their new chapter as a Sector Support Organisation leading and developing public libraries. At the heart of their communities, libraries offer access to so many opportunities in the realm of culture and imagination, support so many government agendas, including health and digital inclusion, and help so many to find the information they need. We look forward to helping them develop and thrive and to working closely with them in our developmental role.’
Libraries Connected will continue to promote library services through the Universal Offers that cover the six key areas which stakeholders see as essential to a 21st century library service. These are central to its aim of supporting libraries to develop new services and cementing their position as a cornerstone of their communities.
The new charity launched at SCL’s national seminar, which this year examines the ways in which public libraries are embracing the ever changing digital world to engage with a rapidly developing audience. The event on 7-8 June draws together more than 130 library leaders, partners and government figures to discuss innovative new approaches in the sector.
The seminar also saw Mark Freeman begin his role as President, taking over from Neil MacInnes.
Mark Freeman, President, Libraries Connected:
‘I am honored to take on the role as the first ever President of Libraries Connected. This is an exciting time for our organisation and I am indebted to the exceptional work carried out by Neil and the team over the past two years that have helped make all this possible. I look forward to working closely with the Arts Council to deliver our vision for libraries.’
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Notes to editors
1. Libraries Connected is a membership organisation, representing heads of library services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We take a leading role in the development of public libraries through advocating for the power of libraries, sharing best practice and helping to shape the public library service now and in the future.
2. As a Sector Support Organisation, the role of Libraries Connected will be to:
- Represent the public library sector nationally, regionally and locally
- Connect partners to local libraries, by brokering national partnerships
- Improve the provision of local library services
- Drive innovation and new thinking around the role of libraries in a modern society.
3. The Universal Offers are Culture, Digital, Learning, Information, Health and Reading. Libraries Connected are committed to ensuring that all aspects of the offers are accessible to all who wish to use them and so each of the offers are underpinned by the Six Steps initiative to ensure access for people with visual impairments and the Children’s Promise.