The similarities between Hampshire’s Library Strategy and the national Libraries Taskforce vision, produced by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Local Government Association, were highlighted at the County Council’s Culture and Communities Select Committee and endorsed by Councillor Andrew Gibson, the Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, at his Decision Day on 15 June.
Councillor Gibson said: “It’s pleasing to see how alike the two strategies are, and how our Library Strategy, published in April last year, is a good fit with the national vision, published eight months later. This reflects well on our Strategy, as some of the brightest and best minds in the country worked on the national vision for libraries.
“Both strategies highlight the importance of libraries for increasing reading and literacy, as focal points for community and cultural activities, to offer digital training and support, and for working with partners, such as health providers, to share resources and buildings.
“In Hampshire, some of our biggest libraries are already working as community hubs, such as Waterlooville, Fareham, and our Discovery Centres in Basingstoke, Gosport and Winchester. All of Hampshire’s libraries run a programme of events and activities ranging from Baby Rhyme Time to author talks, chess and code clubs, where youngsters can learn computer programming. We’re also identifying ways of diversifying income streams, such as adding a café in to the newly refurbished Fareham Library, to help the future financial sustainability of our libraries.”
The full report highlighting the similarities between Hampshire’s Library Strategy to 2020 and ‘Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England’ can be found online.