Linking Services to Social Purpose
The scope and approach to service delivery in libraries varies across the county and is in some ways responsive to its local context. If one of your goals is to preserve an existing service, it will be important to be clear about which elements of that service are of real value to your community. In order to decide what facilities and activities you wish to support you should think through how these relate to the aims of your project and objectives of your organisation. You will also need to consider the outcome any Needs Analysis undertaken in the earlier stages of your work.
When considering taking on library services or buildings, community organisations should establish clear project aims which are compatible with their organisation’s objects. For example, the aims for a community library project may be:
- The encouragement of reading and the improvement of reading skills.
- Supporting and developing information literacy.
- Providing access to ICT, and support with ICT skills.
- Providing access to important information and services relevant to the local community.
- Enabling active participation in local democracy and decision making.
The potential range of services and benefits to address these aims is vast. It may be that a new approach may better meet these needs than continueing a service that is no longer popular or fit for purpose. Some creative and entrepreneurial thinking about how to best achieve your aims starting from a clearer sheet can help move beyond tweaks to existing approaches. Community organisations need to consider what practical affordable action you can take to help make some positive difference to each of your intended aims. The process of developing what amounts to a series of lists linking your aims to your objectives and your objectives to activities and services is sometime known as developing a Logical Framework. This framework can help you stay focussed as to why you are undertaking certain services which can make future decisions about priorities easier to take.
Have a brose of some suggested ideas for innovation on the site, or add your own suggestions!