This is an important point. All council services must be trying to measure
performance on social inclusion and there is scope for having a common
approach for many areas, an obvious for instance being the accessibility of
buildings and whether or not provision is made for people who can't
physically get to service points. Corporately there is much to be said for
not reinventing the wheel, if only because at some stage someone's got to
collate the data centrally to submit to central government so that the
council's annual grant can be established. Ditto other statutory providers.
The problem at the moment is that these targets are new and evolving and
corporate cultures are still on learning curves (and the number of learning
curves everyone's having to cope with seems to be increasing exponentially).
At some point things will gel together and corporate and cross-disciplinary
ways of measurement and reporting will evolve. In the mean time...
One thing public librarians can do, if they have the time and space and the
corporate culture that allows (or better yet facilitates) this, is to take
Kevin's advice. Public libraries tend to discount their importance as
vectors for other organisations' services.
Rochdale Library Service
Rochdale, England OL16 1JZ
Tel: 01706 864967
Fax: 01706 864992
Read any good books lately?
> From: Kevin[SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Reply To: Kevin
> Sent: 20 August 2002 11:56
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Performance Indicators for Social Inclusion
> Chris, I suspect you will find that not many people have made a lot of
> progress on this, although I hope I am wrong. As a member of the CILIP
> Policy Action Group on Social Inclusion I have to admit that I don't think
> we've got to grips with it very thoroughly ourselves yet. I just want to
> make a fundamental point here - as a pro-library non-librarian, and not
> representing the PAG's views. I think it is crucial that public libraries
> see social exclusion, and the process of inclusion, as a partnership
> and not in isolation. So the first stage is very definitely not for
> services to come up with their own PIs for inclusion, but to work with
> agencies towards common objectives relating to inclusion - relating to eg
> literacy rates, health promotion, community involvement, employment etc
> Within those measures, the library service may develop its own indicators
> targets. You may have got to that stage in Wiltshire, it's not clear. One
> the most important points made at the PAG's latest meeting was that the
> library service often makes substantial and untracked contributions to the
> PI's of other agencies, and that needs to be taken into account.
> No-one I think is expecting the library service to overcome exclusion
> single-handedly, so it's a mistake to behave as if they are. Indeed it's
> I for one will be interested in whatever progress you make on this.
> Kevin Harris
> Community Development Foundation
> 020 7226 5375
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Moore [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: 19 August 2002 22:48
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Performance Indicators for Social Inclusion
> Apologies in advance as this is bound to be a familiar topic. I couldn't
> find anything in the recent archives, however, so here goes!
> A colleague and I are trying to put together a paper for our Library
> Management Team on measuring activities for social inclusion. We have our
> own ideas on how we feel this is going to have to develop, but thought it
> would be interesting to see whether other authorities have developed
> mechanisms for doing this.
> We already collect hard data, and have reports we can utilise (probably
> better) from our Library Management System. Combined with that, the
> community profiles we are developing for the 19 community areas in
> should lead our SMART planning system down the right road for social
> inclusion for each community. A 6 monthly report mixing both these sorts
> data would show a certain amount... but not the real picture of impact.
> For particular events (e.g. children's activities, reader's groups, VIP
> coffee mornings etc) it could be feasible to ask people to fill in
> evaluation forms, but I can't personally say I think this is ideal as you
> could have people filling in a form for virtually everything all the time
> "how did it make you feel?". Not to mention the problems of the form
> being socially exclusive (language etc).
> Obviously the most important thing to measure is impact, but it strikes me
> that this could take years to show in some cases (a lot of hard work on a
> geographically socially excluded area) whereas the report idea suggested
> above should show intent and action. Not ideal... but...
> Any ideas or suggestions on how you measure impact in your authority would
> be much appreciated.
> Many thanks for your help.
> Chris Moore
> Community Librarian
> Wiltshire Libraries and Information
> "There are worse things than words, you know,
> but you wouldn't believe it to hear some people talk."
> ('Growing Up, Growing Down' by The Blue Aeroplanes, 1991)