SCL Named Arts Council Sector Support Organisation for Libraries

We are thrilled to be accepted as an Arts Council Sector Support Organisation for Libraries. Our vision is to ensure an inclusive, modern, sustainable and high quality public library service at the heart of every community.

SCL is proud of the work we have done over the past 20 years and grateful to all of our members for tirelessly volunteering their time and resources, often during very difficult and busy periods in their library services. As an organisation we will continue to draw on the expertise of our members, the leaders and managers of library services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This award will allow us to deliver the highest impact to public library development and advocacy. We will:

  • Represent the public library sector nationally, regionally and locally and communicate the value of libraries to decision makers and the general public. This is especially crucial now, at a time when the impact of austerity measures has been felt deeply within the public library service.
  • Build on the success of the Universal Offers for Public Libraries, which have delivered national partnerships across libraries and raised the profile of libraries across many Government agendas.
  • Broker national partnerships with a wide range of organisations to support delivery of services and to attract additional investment in libraries.
  • Drive innovation and new thinking around the important role of libraries in a modern society.

With our network of members and the dedication and talent of thousands of library staff and volunteers, we will ensure that SCL supports the delivery of excellent library services for everyone.

Neil MacInnes, SCL President, said: We are thrilled with this award and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners and members to communicate the value of libraries and the contribution they make to a modern society. We believe modern public libraries should be the cornerstone of the community and should meet local needs around information, learning, literacy, employment, digital skills, health, culture and leisure.


Media Contact:

Elizabeth Elford
SCL Communications and Advocacy Officer
+44 (0)7891 056114




Notes for Editors

  • Arts Council Sector Support Organisations are those organisations that offer support services to the sector, as opposed to producing arts and culture themselves.
  • This award will enable libraries to work more closely with cultural organisations, both local and national.
  • The award, subject to negotiation and confirmation, is for £500,000 per year for four years, from 2018 – 2022.

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.