The Case for Community Managed Libaries
Community Managed Libraries
Up until recently there have been relatively few examples of community management and ownership of libraries. In August 2011 there were 29 examples are known in England. This number continued to grow during 2011 and 2012 and there are now well over 100 known examples.
Local authorities across the country are now seriously considering transferring library services and assets at an unprecedented rate and scale. This toolkit focuses on community owned models for delivery of library services including different forms of local community based organisations, as well as Town and Parish Councils.
Although spending cuts is undoubtedly a major driver in this recent surge in library service and asset divestment by local authorities, evidence from existing community managed libraries shows that there is potential for the transfer to community ownership and / or management to achieve significant benefits including:
- Reduced running costs.
- Increased community involvement and control of local services.
- Increased use of services.
- Service innovation and diversification.
- Supporting sustainable community enterprises.
- Improved access to services.
- A wide range of additional social benefits.
Visit the case studies featured on this site for some current examples.