Libraries expert to chair new Welsh library services review panel

Claire Creaser, Director of LISU at Loughborough University, has been appointed Chair of a new panel established to review library services in Wales.

Announced last week by the Minister for Culture and Sport John Griffiths, the panel is tasked with reviewing local authorities’ delivery plans for public library services across Wales.

Claire said:

“Following LISU’s work on developing the next public library quality framework for Wales, I am very pleased to be invited to continue to contribute towards the development of public library services, in what are very challenging times.

“The panel will consider a range of options and identify examples of good practice in current delivery models. The aim is to ensure that the people of Wales can continue to benefit from public library services, which should be responsive to public demand, well managed, efficient and professionally run.”

Other panel members include Professor Hywel Roberts, a respected authority on libraries in Wales, Dr Steve Davies (Cardiff University), and Peter Gomer from the Welsh Local Government Association.

Minister for Culture and Sport John Griffiths said:

“In these difficult economic times, public libraries are more important than ever in providing opportunities for people to develop their skills and improve their well-being.

“We must look at innovative ways to deliver services and I am pleased to say that there are excellent examples of best practice in Wales in terms of co-location of public services and the joint procurement of new services such as e-magazines.

“I have asked the expert panel, chaired by Claire Creaser who is Director of an internationally renowned research centre, to examine current local authorities’ plans to deliver this statutory service that makes a real difference to people’s lives.

“The review will also be a catalyst to think differently and look beyond the status quo in delivering services. Library services play an important part in communities and the panel will look at future models of service delivery.”

The expert panel will be tasked with:

  • considering alternative service models that provide a more efficient and effective library service, based on collaboration and joint procurement; and
  • seeking information from each local authority and commission research on the likely impact of proposed changes on the performance of library services.

The panel’s conclusions will be included in a report that will be published in the summer.

LISU is part of the Centre for Information Management at the School of Business and Economics

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