This was announced at the time of the budget, but has yet to appear on
the DCMS Press release website. Note that museums can be 'other centres'
and have an important role to play in community grids for learning. This
follows from the 'New Links for the Lottery' consultation at the end of
My apologies if you have seen this already.
* * *
£200m lottery boost for public libraries and lifelong learning
Culture Secretary Chris Smith announces a new 3 year scheme to link
libraries and schools
Public libraries are to share in a £200m scheme to promote community
access to lifelong learning (C.A.L.L.), Culture Secretary Chris Smith
announced yesterday. The aim is to engage more adults in learning at a
community level and to increase access to Information and Communication
Technology by developing a nationwide network of learning centres.
The scheme, which is subject to Parliamentary approval, follows a public
consultation exercise on 'Community Access to Lifelong Learning'
announced on 28th November 1998. It will help libraries to each other
and to schools through the National Grid for Learning, and enable
libraries to provide a full range of electronically based local and
community information. It will also seek to help the development of
Community Grids for Learning - local learning networks using the
The scheme will be funded by the National Lottery through the New
Opportunities Fund (NOF), and will complement the Capital Modernisation
Fund initiative launched 11th March 1999 by David Blunkett.
Chris Smith said: "This will unlock the potential of public libraries,
local communities and voluntary groups by providing access to, and
organising learning projects for, local communities. Libraries are
ideally placed to play a pivotal role in this revolutionary scheme.
Learning is the key to prosperity - for individuals and the country.
Many adults still find it hard to get the education and training they
need to equip them for the modern work environment. This scheme will
help them and also the thousands of people who regularly use their local
library as a source of information. Local libraries are, after all, the
street corner universities for the citizens of Britain."
The scheme will involve the NOF awarding grants to CALL projects,
building on two earlier NOF initiatives, which committed £250m to a
programme of ICT training for teachers and librarians and £50m for
digitisation of electronic information to support lifelong learning. It
is intended where practicable that all public libraries should be
connected to the National Grid for Learning by end of 2002. £9m of
seedcorn funding has been provided over the past three years from the
DCMS-Wolfson Public Libraries Challenge Fund to kickstart development of
the network by funding pathfinder projects in local authorities. More
than 50 projects have been funded to date, with more to be announced
from this year's bidding round in the summer.
In a letter to Matthew Evans, Chairman of the Library and Information
Commission, Chris Smith explains that the new NOF funds will complement
the £470m set aside from the Capital Modernisation Fund to create a
network of up to 1,000 IT based learning centres across the country.
These will support the University for Industry. Public libraries could
benefit from this programme as well as schools, colleges and other
centres. NOF CALL projects will primarily be centred on existing
premises (principally but not exclusively libraries); concentrate on
lifelong learning rather than core curriculum; focus on IT
infrastructure not construction and development of buildings; and will
be targetted chiefly at adults.
Local authorities will need to demonstrate they can use funds
strategically to enhance the range of education and lifelong learning
services they provide when they bid for CALL funds.
Museums New Technology Adviser, Museums and Galleries Commission
tel: 0171 233 4200, email: [log in to unmask]
see the Sharing Museums Skills Millennium Awards website -