John Crawford has a letter Libraries contribute to economy and health in today’s (Thursday 25th March 2010) Herald in response to Tuesday’s article about East Dunbartonshire – Author attacks plans to axe mobile library and excellent leader Libraries must be given our support
Libraries contribute to economy and health
Congratulations to The Herald for supporting public libraries. As you rightly point out (“Libraries must be given our support”, Editorial, March 23), Scotland has socially inclusive traditions of public library provision dating back to the early 18th century. The world’s first national public library policy document was authored in Scotland in 1699 and Leadhills Library, founded in 1741, is where one of the world’s first lifelong learning policies – mutual improvement – was developed.
These traditions still inform us today. As well as a cultural resource, library and information services contribute both to the economy and national wellbeing. I recently evaluated an employability training programme, run by Inverclyde Libraries, that includes an important information skills element. Here the library service is contributing directly to the regeneration of a deprived community. Libraries are increasingly contributing to skills development such as this. They also help people develop the information literacy skills necessary for learning, living and work, and contribute to the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities by giving people information on which to base health and life decisions. What is more, libraries, compared to other services, are extremely cheap. This is not the place to wield the axe.
Dr John Crawford,
Former director, Scottish Information Literacy Project, and Trustee, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals,
The letter was spotted by Sean McNamara the People’s Network Librarian that we worked with at Inverclyde Libraries.
thanks a lot for the mention and your general appreciation and support for libraries. Also, Alana MacMillan, my line manager also thanks you for that and your inclusion of us in LILAC. Here is our tweet about your letter! http://twitter.com/InverclydeLibs
The reference to LILAC 2010 (The Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference) in Limerick next week is to John’s presentation – Employability and information literacy: a review of a training programme. I’ll post a link after the presentation.