Partners to Deliver Two Initiatives Per Year

The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) and the BBC have signed a strategic partnership to enhance the public library service in England. Under the partnership agreement, both partners will aim to deliver two initiatives per year: one large and one small, as well as collaborating on existing programmes.

The two main initiatives for 2016 will be Make it Digital and Get Reading. SCL and the BBC have a history of productive partnership on library programmes, and the BBC was very involved in SCL’s Shakespeare Week project.

The partnership, which will be owned and managed centrally within the BBC, will encourage new relationships with different divisions of the BBC and public libraries. There is also a signed agreement in place with BBC Scotland and Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), and separate partnership agreements will be sought between BBC Northern Ireland and Libraries NI, and BBC Wales and Welsh Libraries.

Ciara Eastell, SCL President, said: “Libraries share similar aspirations with the The BBC through the promises we make to the public. We are delighted that this partnership has been signed and we look forward to working more closely with the BBC on initiatives that will enhance the library service and bring benefits to all our customers. This is a powerful example of how the Universal Offers promote collaboration with major national organisations.”

Jane Ellison, Head of Creative Partnerships, BBC, said: The BBC welcomes the opportunity to partner with libraries as a vital part of public life. We are delighted that we will be working together on the LovetoRead campaign celebrating the pleasure of reading. Books and authors have always been at the heart of the BBC and this is an opportunity to create a national conversation about them. We also aspire to support libraries as gateways to the internet as online information services and fast networks become available.”


Jessica Cecil, Controller, BBC Make it Digital, said: “We are delighted to be working with libraries across the UK, encouraging everyone to get hands-on with digital and help us tell the story of our glorious Weather.”

Through its Universal Offers for public libraries, SCL has developed a core package of partnerships, resources and advocacy messages at a national level which can be delivered locally and shaped to meet differing local needs. Two of these Universal Offers are jointly owned and delivered in partnership with The Reading Agency. The offers provide a positive vision for the future of public libraries; they are a promise to all customers and a commitment to quality provision across these four core areas of our service.

The BBC has six public purposes which cover the values which the BBC brings to bear when seeking to achieve its mission to inform, educate and entertain: Sustaining citizenship and civil society; Promoting education (in schools) and learning (informal learning mainly for adults); Stimulating creativity and cultural excellence (encouraging active participation in the arts, sport etc.); Representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities (especially local communities); Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK; Delivering to the public the benefits of emerging communications technologies and services (making digital content available for all and helping improve skills in light users).


Media Contact

Elizabeth Elford
SCL Advocacy Manager
+447891 056114
Notes for Editors

The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) is a local government association made up of the chief librarian of each library authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. SCL takes a leading role in the development of public libraries, through sharing best practices, advocating for continuous improvement on behalf of local people, and leading the debate on the future of the public library service.