Evidence briefing public libraries

The purpose of this briefing

This is a resource list for one of CILIPs policy areas. The briefing is not a comprehensive literature review. Items have been included with a view to their usefulness to CILIP's advocacy so most documents, though not all, are relatively recent publications. Coverage is mainly UK but there are some international items. Items are arranged by the type of docuement and General Headings are:

Main strategic documents

1.  Sieghart, W., (2014).
Independent Library Report for England. [pdf]. DCMS. 

Provides the current roadmap for libraries in England and has three major recommendations one of which was the setting up of the Taskforce.

2.  Davey, Alan, (2013).
The library of the future. [pdf]. Arts Council England. 

This research examines:

  • recent innovations and trends likely to shape public libraries in the next 10 years
  • library experts’ ideas about the likely impact
  • the views of people working in libraries, councillors, authors, academics, and campaigners
  • public opinion (users and non-users) voiced through online debate and workshops around the country.

3.  Arts Council England, (2013).
Envisioning the library of the future: Phases 1 & 2 Full report: Research by Ipsos Mori and Shared Intelligence.[pdf]. ACE. 

This review was structured around five core questions looking to the future ten years.

Main conclusion: overall communication and knowledge sharing within the sector on critical issues seems limited, and the ‘reaction speed’ in many parts of the sector is slow.

4.  Arts Council England, (2013).
Envisioning the library of the future Phase 3: Understanding what people value about libraries: Research by Involve and Dialogue by Design. [pdf]. ACE. 

5.  BiblioCommons, (2015). Essential digital infrastructure for public libraries in England: A plan for moving forward. [pdf]. The Society of Chief Librarians. 

Presents the findings of four deliberative dialogue workshops, each with around 40 members of the public, held in Newcastle, Stratford-upon-Avon, Totnes and London in September 2012. This analysis was part of the evidence base that informed the Arts Council England vision for the future of public library service delivery.

6.  Department for Culture, Media and Sport, (Dec. 2015).
Report under the Public libraries and Museums Act 1964 for 2015. [pdf]. 

Annual report to Parliament provides a review of library activity during past 12 months by Government and a number of library stakeholders. Contains library visits made by minister and any interventions by the Secretary of State.

7.  Department for Culture, Media and Sport, (2009).
A local inquiry into the public library service provided by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council: Led by Sue Charteris. [pdf]. DCMS. 

The most recent intervention by a Secretary of State.

8.  Society of Chief Librarians, (2016). The five universal offers. [poster]. Arts Council England, Association of Senior Childrens and Education Librarians

The five Universal Offers: Health, Reading, Information, Learning and Digital. Also lists national events which tie in with the Offers.

9.  Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure, (2014).
Delivering tomorrow's libraries: public library standards 2014-19. [pdf]. DCAL

A list of Library Standards for Northern Ireland and targets to be met under the six strategic priorities.

10.  Scottish Government, (2015).
Ambition and Opportunity: A strategy for public libraries in Scotland 2015-202. [pdf]. Carnegie UK Trust

A plan for a new national strategy by the National Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland Strategic Group. Contains stats and figures on Scotland’s library service but also some for the UK. Also has case studies.

11.  CILIP in Scotland, (March, 2016). Scotland’s libraries: Inspiration for the nation a manifesto for libraries. [pdf]. Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland. [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016]

Produced and sent to all the main political parties and candidates standing for election in May. The manifesto calls for the full implementation of the national strategy for public libraries in Scotland: Ambition and Opportunity, 2015-2020. The manifesto has four “asks” (not just around public libraries). For example - for all learners in school and FE to have access to full time professional library staff. The purpose of the document is to make clear to policy makers why CILIPs believe that “Scotland’s libraries are the inspiration for our nation

12.  Welsh Government, (2014). Expert review of public libraries in Wales. [pdf] 

Review in 2014 to look at local authorities’ current and future plans to deliver public library services. The review followed the National Assembly for Wales inquiry into public libraries in Wales. It looks at the changing position of public library services in Wales and considers how services can be managed and delivered sustainably.

13.  CyMAL, (2014). Libraries making a difference: the fifth quality framework of Welsh Public Library Standards 2014-2017. [pdf]. Welsh Government

The fifth framework of Welsh public library standards comprises 18 core entitlements and 16 quality indicators to monitor how well library services meet the core entitlements for the people of Wales. The report says that library services will need to regard local priorities.

14.  Welsh Government, (2015). Guidance on community managed libraries and the statutory provision of public library services in Wales. [pdf]. Welsh Government. 

Outlines the criteria which should be met by community managed libraries. Also identifies what related data can be included in local authorities’ annual returns in accordance with Libraries making a difference: The fifth quality framework of Welsh Public Library Standards 2014-17.

Statistics and surveys

CIPFA Public library statistical series. [Figures for Great Britain].

Estimates for the coming year, actuals for the year that has just ended. This is published in December.

Latest edition:

  • Other CIPFA statistical series:
  • CIPFA Plus (Public Library User Survey)
  • CIPFA Young People's Survey

15.  CIPFA, (2015). Library profiles 2015. CIPFA. [England]

DCMS Taking Part statistical release series [England]

The survey collects data on aspects of leisure, culture and sport in England, as well as an in-depth range of socio-demographic information on respondents. Up until 2017 four statistical releases were published each year. October, December, March and June. From 2017 Quarter 2 published January 2017 and Quarter 4 Spetember 2017. There is also an annual child report published in July.

16.  Latest editions: DCMS, (September, 2017) Taking part 2016/17 quarter 4 report

Across all sectors except libraries, engagement with the arts and cultural sector was higher for those in less deprived areas than those in more deprived areas. There was no significant difference for libraries in engagement across the IMD (Index of Multiple Deprivation) deciles. As part of the DCMS overhaul of its statistical series there is also Taking part 2016/17 Quarter 4: Libraries visualisation 

17.  DCMS, (July 2015). Taking part 2014/15 annual child report statistical release. [pdf]. 

Local authority returns (England)

18.  DCMS, (April, 2016). Taking part focus on: libraries statistical release. [pdf]. Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 

This report is one of a series of three taking part “focus on” reports presenting findings of the taking part survey. The library report looks at who uses the library and why as well as the most common reasons for changes in individual library use over time. For more details about the findings see the CILIP blog No such thing as too early to start the library habit.

See also: Taking part focus on: Cross sector participation which examines participation across arts, libraries, heritage, museums, galleries and sport. The findings of this report are also commented on in the CILIP blog above.

19.  Peachey, J. (April 2017). Shining a light: the future of public libraries across the UK and Ireland. [pdf]. Carnegie UK Trust.  

A major report giving an insight into how people in UK and Ireland use public libraries and what they think of them. Also includes what people say would encourage them to use libraries more. The research took place over five years from 2011 – 2016 and contains a huge amount of data.

The report consists of:

· Policy report contains the lessons from the data and recommendations for policy makers, decision makers, funders and the sector

· Data booklet gives the data and big picture ‘headline findings’ from across all jurisdictions

· Five Country Factsheets show how England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are faring

· Secondary research by Ipsos MORI compares the findings from the Carnegie UK Trust research with those of existing research


20.  Shibli, S., kokolakakis, T. and Davies, L., (November, 2015) Child taking part survey: multivariate analysis of the determinants of child participation in arts, sport, heritage, museums and libraries: summary report. Sport Industry Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University. [Part of the Taking Part survey series commissioned by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport] [Note: Although the report appears to have been completed in July 2014, it was not published until November 2015]. 

Further analysis of annual Child Taking Part Surveys in 2011/12 and 2012/13. It explores the factors most strongly associated with child (aged 5-15) participation in arts, sport, heritage, museums and libraries [meaning public libraries in England].

21.  Axiel, (May, 2017). A review of UK libraries in 2017: A guide for delivering
sustainable community-centric services.
[pdf]. Axiel Ltd.

This report supports the research carried out with library professionals into what a public library
should be offering, the role of the librarian and how library services can be invigorated to meet
the evolving needs of the community. Some practical advice in how to develop “life-changing
services” is offered up, as well as insight into how librarians use volunteers and their perceptions
of the viability of volunteers in the longer term. Forward by CILIP CEO Nick Poole.

22.  IPSOS MORI, (October, 2015). Public services and austerity. IPSOS MORI Social Research Institute. [pdf]. 

The latest poll on public services. (Public libraries results p. 23). This poll does not show great increases in perceptions of declining standards of service, although the future of NHS is a cause of worry. Since the poll in September 2013 there has been a small increase in those dissatisfied with the standard of service in public libraries (from 16-23%) but the majority of those polled remain satisfied or undecided. Government and Ed Vaizey will be using this as they did the previous poll.

23.  Raine, L. (April, 2016). Libraries and learning. [pdf]. Pew Research Centre. 

A new survey of US public libraries by the Pew Research Centre. Shows that 76% of adults say libraries serve the learning and educational needs of their communities “very well”. Further examines the role of libraries as contributing to people’s learning. Also finds a downward drift in numbers of those who use physical library facilities.

24.  Price Waterhouse Cooper, (May 2016). The local state we’re in. [Online]. PwC. 

This is the sixth edition of this annual Local government survey. You have to register (email, name, organisation and job title) to download the report. In 2011 47% of the public accepted the need to make cuts. In 2016 this has dropped to 31%. It is estimated 53% of local authorities will get into serious financial crisis next year. 65% of local authorities are confident that they will be able to make the necessary financial savings without seriously impacting the quality of the service delivered and the outcomes. This drops to 32% in the next three years.

25.  DCMS, (October 2016). Taking Part focus on: Diversity Statistical Release October 2016. Department for Culture, Media and Sport. [pdf]. Horrigan, J. B., (2016).

26.  Libraries 2016: Trends in visiting public libraries have steadied and many Americans have high expectations for what their local libraries should offer. Pew Research Centre. 

Of 1,600 people surveyed (16 years + and older) 66% say that closing their local library would have a major impact on their community. 46% say libraries contribute “a lot” in terms of helping to spark creativity and 69% providing a safe place for people to spend time. 80% of people surveyed think the library should be offering digital skills workshops.

27.  Welsh Libraries. (2016). Libraries bridging the digital divide. [Online]. 

Note: This survey was conducted November/ December 2015 but the results appeared for the first time in July 2016. New data which shows value and impact of the public library network on people who would otherwise be digitally excluded. The survey showed 1.6 million hours recorded on library computers over the previous 12 months. Of those using library computers, 50% had no computer at home, 46% no printing facilities and 31% no broadband access.

28.  Sue Hill Recruitment and TFPL, (October, 2016). 2016/17 salary survey. [pdf]. Sue Hill Recruitment and TFPL.
This is the second annual survey. It is based on 1440 usable responses to their survey. There are tables covering salaries in Legal, financial services, other commercial, academic, public libraries and local authorities, government, healthcare/NHS and the third sector. Each table gives separate salary figures for London and the rest of the country and provide the minimum, maximum and mode (most popular) levels in salaries paid for posts at varying levels of seniority. Various other statistics are provided including professional body memberships, numbers working in a sector, employment status (full-time, part-time, temporary etc) and level of qualification. [For subsequent editions see our Statistics briefing].

29.  MoneySavingExpert.Com. Will you miss your local library if it’s shut down? [Online]. 

Online poll conducted over one week in April. The poll asked the question: Do you love your library or not even know where it is? Results are banded according to age. 29,856 results were received. 9 in 10 people feel it is crucial that their local library is protected from cuts with just 6% saying they never visited the library and “don’t think it’s the best use of public money”. (The Guardian 13/04/16 which also has a quote from Nick Poole

Case studies and surveys

30.  The Australian Library and Information Association and Australian Public Library Alliance, (2017). How public libraries contribute to the STEM agenda [pdf]. The Australian Library and Information Association. 

In March 2017, more than 100 leaders from public libraries across Australia, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe and the Americas, gathered in New South Wales for “STEAM into Sydney”, the IFLA Public Libraries Standing Committee's mid-term meeting. STEAM celebrated the innovative ways that public libraries are supporting the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics agenda. Presentations have been collated into a single report which captures the ways in which public libraries globally are making a difference to their community.


31.  Carnegie UK Trust, (2014). Speaking volumes: The impact of public libraries on wellbeing. [pdf]. Carnegie UK Trust. (4 new databases were added 2016)

Sets out the range of ways in which public libraries impact on four policy areas – economy, education, culture and society – and how libraries contribute to the wellbeing of individuals and communities. Database of examples of good practice have been drawn from the UK and Ireland.

32.  CILIP Libraries Change Lives annual Award. See here for latest 2015 winner and previous winners of the award. [Online] 

33.  Locality, (2015). Income generation for public libraries: learning and case studies from a national pilot project in England. [pdf]. Arts Council England. 

Summarises the learning from a demonstration programme which sought to explore and test a range of income generation activities in the context of public libraries. Case studies relate to each of the five pilot projects funded by ACE.

34.  Macdonald, L., (2012). A new chapter: Public library services in the 21century Scottish data about the attitudes to and use of public libraries. [pdf]. Carnegie Trust UK. 

A factsheet which provides a summary of Scottish data on attitudes to and use of public library services. The poll was conducted over the period August – October 2011. A total of 1002 adults aged 18 and over were surveyed.

35.  Unison Scotland, (2015). Read it and weep: Scotland library staff speak out. [pdf]. Unison Scotland. 

This report is drawn from a survey of UNISON members who provide library services across Scotland .The majority work in public libraries, but those surveyed also included library staff in schools, academic institutions and a small number working in the NHS. Covers issues such as volunteers, changes in library work and training.

36.  Macdonald, L., (2012). A new chapter: Public library services in the 21st century Welsh data about the attitudes to and use of public libraries.[pdf]. Carnegie Trust UK. 

This factsheet provides a summary of Welsh data on attitudes to and use of public library services. The poll was conducted over the period August – October 2011. A total of 1018 adults aged 16 and over were surveyed.

37.  Wagg, S. For Tinder Foundation. (Feb. 2016). Library digital inclusion action research project evaluation: Interim findings report. [pdf]. Tinder Foundation. 

Tinder Foundation in partnership with Leadership for Libraries Taskforce launched a Library Digital Inclusion Fund for a six month Library Digital Inclusion Action Research project which ran from October 2015- March 2016. This is an interim report on the sixteen library authorities who won funding for various projects many involving partnerships with other organisations. A mix of professional staff delivery and use of volunteers.

38.  Ashley, B. and Lee, B. (July, 2016). Making the most of wi-fi: measuring the impact. Arts Council England. [pdf]. 

A report on the Wi-fi in England project which ran from June 2015 to May 2016. Contains information under the following headings: Process evaluation, Lessons learned and Impact evaluation. Also has information on the separately funded Making the most of Wi-fi project which includes brief information on particular public library projects

Main conclusions: Demand for good quality free Wi-fi is incredibly strong, there are many different target groups for whom library Wi-fi can make a difference, libraries can use Wi-fi proactively to achieve their own goals and those of their funders and host authorities.

39.  Peachy, J., (July 2016). Carnegie library lab: final project snapshot from cohort 1. Carnegie UK Trust. [pdf].

The Carnegie Library Lab is a three year programme which aims to cultivate leadership in the public library sector (UK & Ireland) by supporting innovative practice. This report covers eighteen months from November 2014 – April 2016. Key stats include: 10,000+ visits to the online learning platform, over 100 workshops and events held, over 1,800 people reached face to face and 7 new partnerships formed.

40.  Tinder Foundation, (July, 2016). Library digital inclusion fund: action research project: final report. Tinder Foundation. [pdf]. 

This report describes digital inclusion delivery models and pilots carried out by 16 library services across England funded by Tinder Foundation. Funding allowed library services to support 1,600 people. Potential channel shift cost savings for government services of £800k per annum across the 16 library service areas was identified. (£7.5m per year if rolled out nationally across all 151 authorities). The project also collected management information using Learn my way which automatically captures data on learner’s activity and progress allowing library services to report on the progress and impact of their projects


Best practice guidelines

41. Locality, (2013). Community libraries learning from experience: guiding principles for local authorities. [pdf]. Arts Council England. 

Presents the findings of new research about the different ways communities have been involved with their libraries. It draws on actual experiences across England and attempts to identify factors which local authorities might find helpful when considering how best to design and manage their own library services. It is intended primarily for local authority officers and members but may well be of interest to others, including community representatives.

42.  Locality. (2014). Enabling enterprise in libraries. [pdf]. Arts Council England.

The potential for library service providers to generate additional income to facilitate service enhancement, and not with the generation of income to subsidise core public sector budget reductions and/or the loss of traditional revenue streams. Contains a literature review and an analysis of recently published CIPFA data concerned with income generation within a UK library context

43.  Leadership for Libraries Taskforce, (2015). Libraries shaping the future: good practice toolkit.[pdf]. Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 

A best practice guide produced for chief executives and library portfolio holders. Contents: how local authority priorities are supported and delivered by libraries, governance models, smarter services and additional resources including a number of case studies.

44.  Carnegie UK Trust, (2014). Speaking Volumes: The impact of public libraries on wellbeing. [pdf]. Carnegie UK Trust. 

Four new databases have been published (Feb 2016) to accompany the above earlier publication. Showing examples of how public libraries support and contribute to four public policy areas: economic, education, culture and society.

45.  Leadership for Libraries Taskforce, (March, 2016).Community libraries: good practice toolkit. [pdf]. Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 

This is a best practice guide for communities and heads of library services. The toolkit considers three community library models: Independent- Those run independently from the local authority library service, Community Managed - community led and largely community delivered, rarely with paid staff but with professional support and some form of ongoing local authority support,Community Supported - Council led and funded, usually with paid professional staff but given significant support by volunteers. Also contains case studies and some general stats.

46.  Department for Culture, Media & Sport, (March, 2017). Libraries: alternative delivery models [pdf]. DCMS. 

Toolkit and case studies to support those looking at alternative delivery models for their services. Covers technical processes and experiences of four library services that have “spun out” from their respective councils: Inspire Culture (Nottinghamshire), Explore (York), Libraries Unlimited (Devon) and Suffolk libraries IPS

Literature and evidence reviews

47.  Arts Council England, (2011). A review of research and literature on museums and libraries. [pdf]. ACE. 

Carried out when the Arts Council took on responsibility for the development of the public library service in England. This maps the sector and relevant research under headings such as Leadership and workforce. Children and young people, and public engagement. It concludes with a section on improving the evidence base.

Economic impact

48.  Archives, Libraries & Museums Alliance UK, (2014). The economic value of library services: Final report. [pdf]. ERS Ltd

Primary research into the economic value of library services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Users of libraries place the following values on library services per visit: £24.10 in Scotland; £26.38 in Wales; and £27.27 in Northern Ireland. (This monetary value is estimated via the amount users invest in using the services through their time and what they spend in the locality).

49.  British Library, (2015). Enterprising libraries: engines of innovation and economic growth: Key findings of an economic impact analysis, April 2013-March 2015. [Infographic]. BL.

A one page document with illustrated facts and figures from the Enterprising Libraries Project.

50.  Arts Council England, (2014). Evidence review of the Economic contribution of libraries: Final report. [pdf]. ACE.

Identifies and reviews evidence at a national level to provide ACE and wider library sector with a better understanding of how libraries create economic benefits.

51.  Australian Library and Information Association, (2013) National welfare and economic contributions of public libraries. [pdf].SGS Economic & Planning Pty Ltd.

Two separate measurement frameworks were used to generate estimates of the contributions public libraries make to Australian community welfare and Australian economic activity.

52.  Christian J., Kjøller-Hansen A. O. , Steen-Knudsen, J. , Jørgensen, J. for Taenketanken Fremitidens Biblioteker (November, 2016). Copenhagen Economics. The economic value of public libraries. [pdf]. 

“The library is able to provide an oasis where the imagination and interest nurtured in childhood can be transferred into creativity and innovation in adulthood”.

A report from a Danish think tank. The survey is the first of its kind in Denmark - to assess the value of the public library in monetary terms and in relation to GDP. The aim of the survey is to strengthen how libraries are seen as “co-creators” in helping to carry out “core functions of a welfare society”. Denmark has 500 public libraries and Danes make 35m+ visits to libraries each year making libraries Denmark’s most visited cultural institution. Librarians’ skills are touched upon – 27% of librarians are employed by private sector enterprises.

Use of public libraries has fluctuated in recent years. This survey shows that just under half of all those age 16 and older (48%) say they have visited a public library or bookmobile in person in the prior year. Previous Pew surveys showed library visits were 53% in 2012 (In part attributed to the recession). The 2015 figure was 44% who had visited a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months.

(For comparison: DCMS taking part survey figures: In 2015/16 33.4% of adults in England had used a public library in the 12 months prior to being interviewed – down from 34.5% in the previous year).

53.  Bureau of Business Research IC² Institute, The University of Texas at Austin, (2017). Texas public libraries: Return on investment [pdf]. The University of Texas at Austin. 

A data-intensive research design was developed to document and to quantify the economic benefits of public libraries in Texas. Databases from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission were used in conjunction with the input-out economic modelling software, IMPLAN.

Based on the IMPLAN model, which analyzed public libraries purely as business and organisational entities, libraries produced $976 million in economic activity. Further, in FY2015, more than 11,000 jobs in Texas were dependent on public library expenditures. The quantitative analysis also examined services offered by most public libraries in the state. The total value of these services was estimated conservatively at $1.652 billion.

General research and reports

54.  Archives & Records Association, Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals, (2016). A study of the UK information workforce. [pdf executive summary]. ARA & CILIP.  

Commissioned in 2014 and completed in 2015. The findings are drawn from a data set of 10,628 survey responses, a statistically significant proportion of the estimated 86,376 workforce and possibly an unprecedented survey sample. This gives CILIP and ARA (and the wider sector) a strong evidence-base for their future advocacy work.

55.  Macdonald, L., (2012). A new chapter: Public library services in the 21 century. Carnegie UK Trust. [pdf] 

Provides data about levels and frequency of use of libraries throughout UK and the Republic of Ireland. Data about people’s attitude to public libraries, and the things which would encourage them to make more use of public libraries.

56.  Axiell UK, (2015). Library of the future (unable to access full publishing details). 

Press release reads: Public libraries have a clear opportunity to become central hubs in local communities across the UK, but they must develop citizen engagement strategies that deliver new services, embrace digitalisation and empower library staff. The research, carried out among more than 2,000 UK adults, shows that although 56% use public libraries, they only make 23 visits per year on average, compared to 57 visits a year when they were children. Yet the research also reveals a clear appetite from consumers for public libraries to offer much more than a place to find or borrow literature.

57.  Woodhouse, John, (February, 2016).HC library briefing paper no. 5875. Public libraries in England. House of Commons Library. [pdf]. 

This Commons Briefing Paper summarises the statutory duties of library authorities, the role of the Secretary of State, and concerns about service provision and closures. Mentions CILIP’s My Library By Right campaign and DCMS estimate that 110 static public libraries closed in England between January 2010 and January 2016 while at least 77 new public libraries had opened. This figure was given in response to a parliamentary question by Ed Vaizey on 23 February 2016.

58.  BBC, (March, 2016). Research on UK public library closures. BBC Data Unit.

Freedom of Information requests to 207 UK upper tier authorities responsible for library services. Of those 181 returned the required data and are included in the excel spreadsheet. Analysis is over the past five years (since 2010) Headline figures: More than 7,600 staff have lost their jobs, 25% of the workforce in five years, 15,500 volunteers have been brought in to run libraries, 342 libraries have closed, with 111 proposed for closure, 177 libraries have been transferred to community groups. Separate figures have been included in the data analysis for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

59.  Rosa, K., ed. (April 2016). The State of America’s Libraries.[pdf]. American Library Association. 

Academic, school, and public libraries continue to face an uncertain economy as they shift resources and services to meet the needs of the 21st-century digital world. The American Library Association launched a new public awareness campaign, “Libraries Transform,” to help shift the mindset that “libraries are obsolete or nice to have” to “libraries are essential.” This and other library trends of the past year, including the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2015, are detailed in the American Library Association’s 2016 State of America’s Libraries report.

60.  Spacey, R., Cooke, L., Muir, A., Creaser, C. (2014).Managing access to the internet in public libraries: MAIPLE. [pdf]. Loughborough University and Arts & Humanities Research Council. 

A 24-month project carried out between September 2012 and August 2014 by a team from Loughborough University. The aim of the project was to identify measures taken in UK public libraries to regulate access to Internet content, and evaluate their impact and effectiveness.

61.  Museums, Libraries and Archives, (2010). What do the public want from libraries? User and non-user research. Full research report. [pdf]. Shared Intelligence. Ipsos Mori Social Research Institute. 

62.  SCL and PA, The Society of Chief Librarians and the Publishers Association report on the remote e-book lending pilots. [pdf].

This pilot study of remote e-lending follows An Independent Review of E-Lending in Public Libraries in England, the report of a panel led by William Sieghart. The first issue the pilot addressed was whether there was a significant demand for remote e-book borrowing from libraries. The pilot also examined borrowers’ behaviour and attitudes about the loan period restrictions, and unavailable titles.

63.  Department for Culture, Media and Sport, (February, 2017). Report under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 during 2016 . [Online]. DCMS. 

An annual report providing a summary of activities of the main stakeholder organisations operating in the public library arena. Some useful statistics and information on the development and funding of the Universal Offers, Access to Research etc. A report from SERIO, a research unit based at Plymouth University, into the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of community libraries was due end of March 2017

Reading learning and literacy

64.  Holman, T., (2015). Six book challenge: Impact report. [pdf]. Arts Council England and The Reading Agency. 

Now known as Reading Ahead the scheme was pioneered by Hull Libraries in 2006 as an adaptation of the Summer Reading Challenge in order to reach adult learners with the first Quick Read titles. The Six Book Challenge has since reached approximately 194,000 people over eight years. At least 48,000 participants registered in 2015. The participant impact results are mainly based on analysis of the responses to the ‘after’ survey.

65.  Crossley, L., (2015). Children’s library journeys report. [pdf]. Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians, Society of Chief Librarians and Arts Council England. 

Research to discover what interventions are needed to ensure any automatic library membership projects create active library users. The national Children’s Library Journeys framework (pg 6 – 10) is the result of desk research and consultation with library professionals and stakeholders, including ASCEL members and representatives of the Arts Council England, Society of Chief Librarians, CILIP, BookTrust, the National Literacy Trust, The Reading Agency and the Youth Libraries Group.

Health and well being

66.  Fujiwara, D., Lawton, R., Mourato, S., (from Simetrica) (2015). The health and well-being benefits of public libraries summary paper. [pdf]. Arts Council England. 

Looks at the value of the health and wellbeing benefits of library engagement measured through economic value, using methods that are consistent with the HM Treasury Green Book guidance. There are two key research aims of the study. 1. The value of engagement in library services in terms of the impact on people’s overall quality of life. 2. The value to society of the health benefits of library services.

67.  Carnegie UK Trust, (2014). Speaking volumes: The impact of public libraries on wellbeing. Carnegie UK Trust. [pdf]. 

There are a number of so-called ‘domains of wellbeing’ which can be measured or monitored to explore the overall levels of individual wellbeing. These examples are grouped into four areas of public policy, showing the potential which exists for public libraries to make a difference to the wellbeing of their communities. These examples have been selected from a database of good practice drawn together from across the UK and Ireland.


68.  Society of Chief Librarians, (2013). Public library universal information offer: workforce development: supporting digital access to information and services: skills report. Arts Council England.

In June 2012, the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) and Arts Council England (ACE) commissioned research to help position public libraries as key delivery partners in the Government’s Digital by Default Strategy. Aim: To help position Public Libraries as key delivery partners in the Government's Digital by Default Strategy. A skills audit, circulated to all English and Welsh Public Library Authorities, is included as an appendix.