Creative Library, Community Library - a strategic framework

The State Library of Victoria has published its strategic framework and 2030 vision for public libraries, whose lead other services might do well to follow.

3 July 2013

What is remarkable - and valuable - about this piece of work is not just in the final outcome and the road map for the future but the creative and participative process the led to it.

We are not lacking in ideas about the future of public libraries - in the UK or elsewhere. But where we fall down is in leading a process of involvement that will allow those plans to be sustained, adapted, funded and supported throughout their delivery over a long timescale.

Victoria offers an insiight into an exemplary process conducted, as the report says, 'beyond the confines of the library walls.' The workshop basis of the collaborative process gave rise to two strategic options in need of harmonisation: the concept of the Creative Library and the Community Library.

'Whether Victoria’s future has a creative or community focus – or a combination of both – this process has confirmed that our public libraries will continue to be a primary local source of information and 21st-century literacies and will have the flexibility and foresight to play an innovative and significant future role.'

The report is called 'Victorian Public Libraries 2030'. That carries an unintended but important resonance for everyone working towards a different concept of the public library in the 21st century.

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