*With apologies for cross posting*
Library & Information Co-operation Council (LINC)
31 July 2000 News Release
Empowering the learning community
LINC responds to LIC report
The Library and Information Co-operation Council (LINC) has responded to
'Empowering the learning community', the Report of the Education and
Libraries Task Group to the Secretaries of State for Culture, Media & Sport
and for Education & Employment.
In a joint Response with its Panel the National Forum for Information
Planning (NFIP), LINC agrees that libraries have a prime role to facilitate
education and self development. The current emphasis on lifelong learning
rightly focuses on the public library and its relationship with the
LINC argues, however, that library and information funding has been
inadequate for many years, and this needs to be redressed if libraries are
to play their full part in the nation's well-being.
LINC welcomes the Report's emphasis on co-operation between public and
academic libraries. There are many examples of good practice in
cross-sectoral schemes, and much is to be learned from consideration of
On the new Learning and Skills Councils, LINC agrees that a facilitating
role in supporting cross-sectoral collaboration could be productive, as long
as there is a commitment to providing real practical support for
co-operation and to working with existing co-operative schemes.
On planning processes, LINC supports the suggestion that Annual Library
Plans and Lifelong Learning Development Plans provide the basis for an
Supporting the Report's proposal to encourage mechanisms for co-ordinated
purchasing, LINC notes that the academic sector has a wealth of experience
which could be shared. Identification, mapping and description of resources
are key factors in creating effective foundations for collaborative
Endorsing the proposal to establish cross-sectoral funding arrangements,
LINC adds that making these conditional on participation in collaborative
schemes could be beneficial to existing organisations with a track record in
The Full Disclosure and People's Heritage projects should both be supported
as key elements for improving cross-sectoral collaboration for the benefit
of learners, and the creation of access maps, enabling users and learners to
reach resources in other libraries on a managed basis, would be a major
contribution to the improvement of overall access.
The proposal that schools should be subject to a statutory requirement to
provide adequate library facilities is strongly supported. Statutory
underpinning of school libraries and their support from public libraries
would do much to improve and restore cross-sectoral co-operation for
study and learning.
LINC backs the Report's encouragement to funding bodies to set standards for
the assessment of success in developing co-operative strategies. These
should include promoting the importance of information skills to teachers,
training librarians in educational guidance, and training to understand the
strategic importance of co-operation and information planning.
Notes to Editors
1. 'Empowering the learning community. Report of the Education and Libraries
Task Group to the Secretaries of State for Culture, Media & Sport and for
Education & Employment.' Library & Information Commission, March 2000
Report's four Recommendations for Action are printed below.
2. LINC is the leading representative organisation promoting co-operation
and partnership in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Its members include the
British Library, the National Library of Scotland, the Irish Library
Council, LISC (NI), Interlending Wales, LA, SCONUL, the Society of Chief
Librarians, six English Library Regions, and a range of organisations with
an interest in co-operation. It has three Panels: LINC NEWSPLAN Panel, NFIP
(National Forum for Information Planning) and LINC Health Panel.
For further information on LINC and copies of the full response, contact:
LINC Honorary Secretary Paul Turner, County Librarian, Hampshire, 81 North
Walls, Winchester SO23 8BY.
Tel: 01962 846 109. [log in to unmask]
3. News release issued for LINC by Pat Wressell Associates, Press Officer.
Tel: 0191 281 3502. Fax: 0191 212 0146. [log in to unmask]
Empowering the learning community: Recommendations for Action
1. Public and educational libraries in communities or defined geographic
areas should establish co-operative arrangements to improve services to
2. Cross-sectoral funding arrangements should be established. Funding for
libraries in all sectors should include an element which is measured against
progress towards closer cross-sectoral community partnerships.
3. Public and educational libraries in any community or region should draw
up 'access maps' to enable users and learners to reach resources or
assistance in other libraries on a managed basis. Consideration should also
be given to making provision of school library and information services a
4. Training programmes for librarians, resource managers and teachers should
be co-ordinated and should include ways of developing mutual support.
Objective and quantifiable performance measures should be set for all these