Public Libraries in Ireland Policy and Action

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Public Libraries in Ireland Policy and Action. Deirdre Ellis-King Dublin City Librarian, October 2001. Key Points Responsible Authority - Number of Library Authorities - Capital Exp 2001 - Recurrent Expenditure 2001- % of Total Local Government Exp. 2001 - Automation - - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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<ul><li><p>Public Libraries in IrelandPolicy and Action</p><p>Deirdre Ellis-KingDublin City Librarian, October 2001</p></li><li><p>Background to Irish Public LibrariesKey PointsResponsible Authority -Number of Library Authorities -Capital Exp 2001 - Recurrent Expenditure 2001-% of Total Local Government Exp. 2001 -Automation -Public Internet Access -Staffing Levels -Collections -Registered Users -Expenditure per head 2001-Population (1996) -Service points -</p><p>- Local Government- 32- IR8.6 (IR2.5 m in1997- IR51 m (16% over 2000)- 2.5%</p><p>- 26 of 32 complete100%1,343 (1998),267 Professional (20%11+ million900,000 (approx) 199814.05 (12.15 in 2000)3,626,0871,000 + (1998) Public Libraries in Ireland: Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Dublin City Public LibrariesKey Points City of Dublin - Capital City Population (1999) - 481,854 Registered Users- 48% Number of Public Access Points- 38 Expenditure 2001- IR11.8m Book Expenditure 2001 - IR1,715,000 Exp. Per head of pop. - IR24.40 (2001) Automated Systems - Complete %of Local Govt. exp - 3% (2001) Public Internet Access - 100% Staff Levels- 355 (97 professional) Collections- 1.7m items</p><p> Public Libraries in Ireland: Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Policy Framework Key Documents </p><p>Government - National and European Legislation - Basis for libraries - 1994 Local Government Act, 2001 Bill Information Society Report, Action/Plan Adult Learning White Paper - Learning for Life 2000 Better Local Government ReportLocal - City Corporate Plan Departmental Business PlansLibrary specific - National - Branching Out - 1998 - Joining Forces - 2000 - Art and the Magic of the Word - 1999Local - Dublin Library Development Plan 1996 - 2001 Dublin Library Business Plan (Annual)</p><p> Public Libraries in Ireland: Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Policy Framework Forces for Change: Background to Policy DevelopmentInternalInformation TechnologyLocal and Central Government AgendasParticipative Democratic ProcessPartnershipsProfessional AwarenessBetter Educated StaffDevelopment ProgrammesVision Global Library Developments</p><p>ExternalSocietal ChangeMulti-culturalismMobility/TravelLife Long Learning needsLearner Centred EducationChanging User NeedsInformation Society - ICT- Free-flow Information- Global CommerceLegislationPublic Libraries in Ireland: Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Policy Framework Focus: Branching Out - A New Public Library ServiceWhose Review? - 800 Public SubmissionsInclusive ApproachIndividualsCommunity OrganisationsNational OrganisationsProfessional Organisations</p><p>National Policy Project Team- Library Professionals- Local Authority Management- Elected Politicians- Public (Civil) Servants Public Libraries in Ireland: Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Policy FrameworkBranching Out: Issues raisedIndividualsAccess - Opening HoursStockInfrastructureInformation TechnologyCitizen InformationOrganisationsInclusivity - BarriersPoor Literacy LevelsLife-long Learning/EducationElectronic GovernmentMarketingInformation TechnologyAccess - Opening Hours/InfrastructureArts/Culture/Heritage - Collections/PlaceInformation Needs Public Libraries in Ireland: Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Policy FrameworkBranching Out: Analysis of Public Library RoleKey Benefits:- Potential IdentifiedAccess to Information using ICTAccess to Life Long Learning - Collections and ServicesSocial Inclusion - new opportunities for information -based on public skills training/accessAccess to Library Collections of high cultural valueDelivery of Government Services using ICT infrastructure in the national network Public Libraries in Ireland: Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Policy FrameworkBranching Out: Key Issues: NeedsKey Issues: NeedsBetter Services -</p><p>Better Infrastructure -</p><p>Better ICT - </p><p>Better Library Stock -</p><p>opening hoursstaffing levelsstaffing/ training</p><p>Buildings/Mobilesinnovative delivery mechanismHardware/SoftwareTrainingRange/quality/relevance</p><p> Public Libraries in Ireland: Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Policy Framework</p><p>Branching Out - Report Accepted by GovernmentRecommendations have informed policy</p><p>Strategic Directions - Implementation process - 2001Services - access/delivery systems to be improvedStock - To be improvedMarketing - Targeted programmes/focused activityCo-operation - Schools/Education/e-government/servicesCulture/Heritage - preserve/disseminate/encourage useLibrary Research - informed decisionsTraining - Staff and public Public Libraries in Ireland; Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Policy FrameworkDelivering a New ServiceLocal Authority - National Government</p><p>Reward Programme of Government Aid - 75% from Central Government for Capital Development Need to meet access requirements for disabledStock grants dependant on increased local authority expenditure - Target of 2.50 per headGrants for Optical Scanners for Visually ImpairedGrants for Public Internet Access/Innovative ICT</p><p> Public Libraries in Ireland: Policy and ActionPartnership process</p></li><li><p>Policy Framework</p><p>Branching Out - ActionsExchequer Capital Funding - 1997 - 2.52 million - 1998 - 2.59 million - 1999 - 6.25 million - 2000 - 8.30 million - 2001 - 8.69 million Results - Stock Grants - Special IncentivesICT Development - Internet, Catalogue on WEBICT Research Initiatives - Projects funded/MarketingConsultation Working Groups:- Staff Training and Development- Public Access - opening hours/buildings - I.C.T. Public Libraries in Ireland: Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Policy FrameworkDublin City Public LibrariesStrategic Actions: Selected Examples - 2001ResearchInformation/Communications Technologies -</p><p>Co-operation- PULMAN, CHILDE</p><p>- Networked access system - Electronic Govt OASIS Internet Residency Programme- Digital Imaging Project - City Museum Library Catalogue on WEB- Shared access to records: TCD- Linked Literacy programmes - CDVEC- Distance Learning - UCD- Dublin WEB Portal Public Libraries in Ireland: Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Policy FrameworkDublin City Public LibrariesStrategic Actions: Selected Examples - 2001Stock</p><p> Staff Training</p><p>Marketing- Multi-Language Collections- Reader Development Programmes/Literary Award/FestivalTraining Programme Target Expenditure of 2.50 exceeded = 3.34 in 2001- ECDL, Internet, Reference Skills, - Newsletter- Proposed Radio Slot, Publications Public Libraries in Ireland: Policy and Action</p></li><li><p>Public Libraries in IrelandPolicy and Action</p><p>CHALLENGES - 2001</p><p>Deirdre Ellis-KingDublin City Librarian, October 2001</p><p>Public Libraries in IrelandPublic Libraries in IrelandI want to thank you for your welcome and am delighted to have the opportunity of sharing with you the Irish and Dublin experience of library policies and current action.</p><p>The statistical data in this slide will give you some indication of the Irish Library network of some 1000 service points. 321 permanent branch libraries with centres, mobile library units making up the balance. It operates on a legislative requirement basis through the local government structure comprised of 32 Library Authorities. Public Libraries are funded by these Local authority and secure capital grant-aid from the Central Government Ministry of the Environment and Local Government for infra-structural development. Capital allocations has increased radically in the past three years to 8 + million in 2001 from a base of 2.5 million in 1997 as an indicator of government recognition of public libraries as having a key role to play in integrated development at national and local level.Staffing levels and collections have also increased during the past years as also has collection development.</p><p>Public Libraries in IrelandDublin City Public Libraries </p><p>Ireland is a small country with a small population, although with a growing population currently estimated at 3.8 million, the highest since the famine years of the 1840s which saw mass emigration. However some one third of this population is based in Dublin City and its immediate hinterland. The Dublin City System is the biggest by far for a local authority library and in effect attracts considerable numbers of users from other administrative areas, many of these work or study in the City and there are many new citizens eg. Economic refugees and asylum seekers who are using our services. Additionally given levels of worker shortages in recent years many professional and technologically qualified people from other countries have added to the population base and to the changing needs and challenges presented to library services. We have in effect had to anticipate and respond to forces for change, those internally with our own organisations and also forces from external sources.</p><p>Public Libraries in IrelandSome of these forces have resulted in the development of policies and strategies which have emerged from government at European and at National levels. Those in relation to the Information Society and Life-Long -Learning are in line with established library practice but promote a more strategic focus in a framework of national priority for integrated and co-ordinated service delivery.</p><p>There are also policies, strategies and action plans which have been developed at local level, with each local authority being required to produce a corporate plan and to be accountable in terms of meeting pre-determined performance indicators. In turn, these are library specific policy documents at national level the most important and critical of these being Branching Out: A New Public Library Service published in 1998 and which I will refer to later.But each local library service including Dublin has been required to produce a Development Programme. In the Dublin case we have been working to implement the Development Plan 1996 - 2001. This outlines a strategic focus for library development in Dublin in which infrastructure, physical and virtual, but also collections and staff training are fundamental to delivery of innovative service relevant to a changed society.Public Libraries in IrelandChallenges of ChangeThere are many forces driving change - both internally and externally.Challenges of Change - meeting needs and effects of change. Once started, change accelerates - slow starters are left behind - Library challenge is to assist the information poor, to assist social inclusion through appropriative actions eg. ICT training, community outreach programmes.Change can result in creating information disparity within countries, within communities, within urban and rural areas. Disparities can arise for isolation, from lack of education, or from social or linguistic deprivations.</p><p>Net immigration in Ireland is one significant factor leading to to re-assessment of service delivery in a context of a multi-cultural society which operates in a global economy.</p><p>Policy framework</p><p>The Information Society in particular focuses attention on the benefits of an inclusive society one in which all citizens are enabled/educated to participate in decision-making processes aimed at building healthy and sustaining communities. Access to information, to the general global knowledge base is a key factor enabling such an objective in open societies. The libraries network, locally based, and is capable of being a strategic tool of cultural and educational efforts in the community and a major force in delivering on electronic government in an open and transparent manner.</p><p>Public Libraries in IrelandBranching Out: A New Public Library twice develops a strategic approach to utilising the unparalleled community resource presented by Irelands public libraries. Uniquely, the Team charged by the Irish Minister for the Environment and Local Government to develop policies and recommend appropriate strategies which would harness the force of public libraries in Ireland in the public interest, was comprised of all interested partners, Library Professionals, including the Author of this presentation, Local Authority Managers, Politicians and Central Government Public Servants. The methodology for developing the policy was inclusive with submissions being sought from the public following advertisements in the national papers and from relevant organisations.Essentially the Project Team set out a vision of a public library as one designed to meet the needs of the Irish people into the next millennium. </p><p>Public Libraries in IrelandThe big issues evolved as these surrounding the need to meet changes in Irish society by:</p><p>developing enhanced opening hours;investing in library staff;improving equality of access to library services;improving specialised services;improving libraries information services;developing life-long learning services; the need to provide adequate infrastructure - a network of modern, properly equipped and staffed service points covering the entire country that will ensure libraries play a key role in the information society; the need to develop new service-delivery methods that will enable areas of low population and other isolated communities to have equal access to library services in a cost-efficient manner;</p><p>the need to improve the range and quality of stock;the need to improve local and national marketing of library services;the need to improve co-operation between libraries and with other organisations;the need to improve schools library services;the need to develop the library as a centre of culture;the need to improve the service through library research.Public Libraries in IrelandThe strategic implications of developing library services in accordance with the recommendations of the Policy Review Team are aligned with National and Local Government agendas to develop an information society which is inclusive, equitable and innovative involving all citizens in a strategic policy plan process of democratic government.</p><p>Such an agenda presupposes a society which values information, knowledge and learning. Public libraries particularly are recognised in the Report as having a key role to play in achieving the aims of an informed society. An important element of the argument to Government for the necessary funding was that investment in library infrastructure should assist in achieving equality of access and that it should form part of the Governments national anti-poverty strategy. Recognising the related issues of freedom of access to information, the Project Team recommended that the Public Library should be put at the heart of public service initiatives in electronic government. This recommendation has in effect been translated into action whereby the government has grant-aided provisions of public internet infrastructure into every public library in the country so that it may, in addition to other seeking and research purposes...</p></li></ul>