The Society of Chief Librarians and partners including The Arts Council and The Reading Agency are committed to keeping library services relevant and accessible. Together they have identified six key areas of service which today’s users regard as integral to public libraries and developed a shared strategy for the future.
The Universal Offers cover the six key areas of service which our customers and our stakeholders see as essential to a 21st century library service.
The Universal Offers have been informed by customer research, tested with stakeholders and customers and developed in partnership with the Reading Agency and Arts Council England. The aim of each of the offers is to develop a core package of partnerships, resources and advocacy messages at a national level which can then be delivered locally and shaped to meet differing local needs.
The Universal Offers provide a positive vision for the future of public libraries; they are a promise to our customers and a commitment to quality provision across these five core areas of our service. The Universal Offers aim to ensure that all aspects of the library offers are accessible to everyone that wishes to make use of them and therefore each of the offers are underpinned by the Six Steps initiative to ensure access for people with visual impairments and the Children’s Promise developed by ASCEL.
They enable us to share costs and resources – they provide value for money ensuring that we are not duplicating energy and funds on developing individual offers/schemes across 151 individual library authorities. They are also a powerful advocacy tool for Heads of Service to use within their own local authority when making the case for libraries and evidencing the difference that they can make to communities.