Libraries are loved and cherished spaces in local communities, offering services and opportunities for every age group from babies to pensioners. Library staff dedicate themselves to delivering an outstanding and unique service within their communities.

Libraries have proven that they are a very sound investment with a five to one benefit to cost ratio, according to Libraries Deliver.

As local government spending has decreased year on year, public libraries have carried a significant portion of financial cuts and Local Authorities have turned to different models of delivering library services.

The CIPFA statistics show falling book issues and that is disappointing. However, the figures also demonstrate that people are using libraries differently–online, remotely and as gathering spaces.

Libraries across the country have implemented SCL’s Universal Offers focused on reading, learning, information, digital and health. This has provided a national framework for partnerships and programmes which can be implemented by library services in response to local need. We are proud of the many new partnerships the offers have nurtured both locally and nationally.

As the leaders and managers of libraries services across the country we work hard to ensure the value of libraries is understood at every level of government. SCL will continue to advocate for the transformative power of public libraries because we see and hear first hand, every day, how spending time in a library or using library services can change lives for the better.