Libraries Connected is delighted to publish our new strategic plan for 2023 to 2027. The plan presents a set of key projects and priorities for the next five years, with a focus on creating a more diverse library workforce, building a robust evidence base on the impact of libraries and developing a stronger voice for the sector as it works with local and national government.
The plan is structured around four core areas of action: drive, grow, connect and engage. These are underpinned by principles of sustainability, diversity, collaboration and financial stability with a commitment to working both nationally and regionally.
Key projects include:
- Building a Futures Hub for the libraries sector, a programme of collaborative research on the challenges and opportunities of the next decade.
- Supporting the roll-out of a public library service accreditation scheme, a set of nationally agreed standards that define a high-quality library service.
- Starting a public libraries data and evidence observatory.
- Launching an equality, diversity and inclusion learning and development programme for library services.
- Setting up a strategic advocacy programme, including toolkits, publications, briefings and roundtable events.
- Establishing a commission on libraries and disadvantage to review the evidence on the role of public libraries in reducing social, environmental, financial and health inequalities.
We will continue to lead the development of the Universal Library Offers (ULOs), which provide a framework for a high quality library service and demonstrate the power of libraries to enrich lives. We will also continue to provide extensive training, networking and community building opportunities for the sector – including the annual Libraries Connected Awards - as well as leading major cultural and educational projects with partners.
The plan is based on extensive consultation with our members, which included all 176 library services in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Crown Dependencies.