In an effort to raise awareness and make a meaningful, long-term impact on the future of library funding, The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the EveryLibrary Institute are proud to launch LibrariesDeliver, an advocacy campaign that connects people from across England in support of their libraries thanks to funding from Arts Council England.
The core of the campaign is LibrariesDeliver.uk, a new GDPR compliant advocacy website designed to activate and connect an extensive network of individuals and advocacy groups about library funding. On LibrariesDeliver.uk library supporters can sign up to become part of the campaign, pledge to support libraries, create and field petitions about funding, donate to support libraries, and become better organized and connected.
LibrariesDeliver is dedicated to addressing real challenges to library funding by organizing and focusing support from people across England and the UK. “We want to create new capacity for library advocates by supporting a national conversation about the future of library funding,” says Nick Poole, CILIP’s Chief Executive. “As it grows, LibrariesDeliver will focus new attention on policy and funding choices by local councils and national government to rally support for proper library funding. We do all this work in partnership library leaders and local campaigners to reach a good outcome,” adds Poole.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Arts Council England, LibrariesDeliver is launched as an international collaboration between UK-based CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and the US-based EveryLibrary Institute. In communities of all sizes and means, libraries are poised to help people overcome their most pressing challenges. From literacy services and early childhood supports to creating more livable, interesting, thriving, and prosperous places, libraries and librarians empowers people and communities. For now, due to the limits on this funding source, we are advocating for libraries in England but we look to expand to other libraries in the UK as needed when new funding sources arise.
The goal of LibrariesDeliver is to preserve, protect, and extend funding for public libraries. “We are asking library supporters around England to sign up on LibrariesDeliver.uk and spread the word to colleagues, friends and family on social media,” says John Chrastka, executive director of the EveryLibrary Institute. “There are many factors contributing to the decline in library funding in the UK. The truth remains that if we want to reverse this slide we need to be organized and engaged. We need the entire UK library community to come together to make a real impact.” Visit LibrariesDeliver.uk and facebook.com/librariesdeliver to learn more and to sign up today.
Why are we currently focused on England?
CILIP’s partnership with the EveryLibrary Institute extends beyond the scope of Libraries Deliver. Over the next few years, we want to develop a much more effective model for advocating for public libraries across the whole of the UK based on the Libraries Deliver platform. The funding from the Arts Council England is for an initial exploratory piece of work to establish the platform and test how it works in the UK. Because the remit of ACE is for public libraries in England only, this is the focus of this initial work.
Once we have tested and evaluated the Libraries Deliver platform and approach, we will move into a second phase which includes rolling it out across the whole of the UK. However, the relevant legislation, governance and funding models for public libraries are very different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so we need to ensure we take the time and have the conversations necessary to modulate our approach to the circumstances of each Nation. In the meantime, there is nothing preventing libraries anywhere in the UK from using the platform to promote their work. Please do share any news and information via the form here.
We can only plan for the expansion of the model, however, if Libraries Deliver becomes a self-funding activity. This means ensuring that our fundraising activity in 2019-2020 gets us to the point where we can afford the ongoing running costs for the platform. If we cannot reach a self-sustaining model by the end of 2020, then we will have to take a view on the longer-term viability of this work.
About the EveryLibrary Institute
The EveryLibrary Institute is a US Based 501c3, non-profit organisation, dedicated to enhancing public and political support for library funding and the visible role of librarians in society. The core work of the EveryLibrary Institute is to advance a research, training, and programmatic agenda that strengthens the public policy and funding framework for libraries and librarians in the future. Please visit http://everylibraryinstitute.org for more information.
CILIP is the UK’s library and information association. Founded under Royal Charter in 1898, their role is to promote the long-term development of library and information services and to support librarians and information professionals. Information about our work, including this project, is available at http://www.cilip.org.uk.
For further information, and to arrange an interview with Nick Poole of CILIP or John Chrastka of the EveryLibrary Institute, please contact Ayca Ilcen at [email protected].