Today CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, are referring the case of Doncaster Council’s proposal to close three library branches to CILIP’s Community Libraries Panel. They will be looking at the information and assessing the case against CILIP’s criteria:
1. Is there a strategic plan for the library/information service in place?
2. Is there evidence of a proper needs assessment informing the strategic plan and proposals for change?
3. Can the proposals be seen as proportionate to the resource requirements of the library service and its parent institution?
4. Have the stakeholders in the library service, especially user communities and staff, been properly consulted?
5. Has professional advice been taken in determining the proposals for change?
[6. In the case of public libraries, Do the proposals allow a council to meet its statutory obligation? (that is, the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964)]
The Better Libraries, Better Lives report clearly indicates that Doncaster council lack a strategic plan (1), have not conducted a proper needs assessment (2) and stakeholders have not been consulted at any stage (4). The report itself (opens as pdf) was conducted by Annie Mauger, a libraries professional (5), who has made a number of recommendations, which, if followed, would enable the council to determine if their plans for the development of the service are proportionate to the resource requirements of the library service (3) and appropriate to the needs of the community.
The Panel will report their findings and what actions they will (or will not) take within three weeks.