The media is facing change on all fronts and libraries not only need to adapt their services, but also tell the media the good news about what they provide for the public, despite funding cuts. That's what Roz Morris, Managing Director of TV News London, told the annual conference of the Society of Chief Librarians. On the day when Amazon announced that it was for the first time selling more e-books than paper books, Roz (pictured above right with conference organiser Julie Spencer, Head of Library and Museum Services in Bolton) pointed out that public libraries have a great case to make for the way they have adapted to new media.
"Libraries, like many other local government services, are facing cutbacks and hard choices at present, but they also have opportunities to publicise their new media services", Roz told the SCL audience at Warwick University Conference Centre in Coventry. "This means collecting case histories/success stories so you can tell the public stories about how you can help people in the modern world. Working with your press office and letting them know what you're doing is essential."
There are more than four thousand public libraries in the UK and In the past six months alone, public libraries have helped more than a quarter of a million people go online for the first time. This is part of the Government's project RaceOnline 2012. Every public library provides access to the internet, which in most libraries is free of charge.
In 2009, book borrowing increased by 1.3%, the first increase in 20 years and more than 34 million people, 60 per cent of the UK population, have a library card and more than a third of the population visits public libraries at least once a month which means that more people visit public libraries in the UK than go to football matches, theatres or cinemas, put together.
For more info see www.goscl.com
25 May 2011