Library of the Future report: download for free

New research shows community activities, social media and personalised services are key to increasing citizen engagement.

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Public libraries have a clear opportunity to become central hubs in local communities across the UK, but they must develop citizen engagement strategies that deliver new services, embrace digitalisation and empower library staff, according to new research conducted by Axiell UK.

The research, carried out among more than 2,000 UK adults, shows that although 56% use public libraries, they only make 23 visits per year on average, compared to 57 visits a year when they were children. Yet the research also reveals a clear appetite from consumers for public libraries to offer much more than a place to find or borrow literature.

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The full research findings are published in a new report, The Library of the Future, which explores how the traditional role of the public library can adapt to meet the social and digital behavioural needs of today’s communities.

Nick Poole, CILIP chief executive, comments: “Public libraries are beacons for knowledge in communities across the country. They are unique, trusted spaces where everyone is welcome. At some point libraries make a positive difference to all lives, all families and all careers.

“What libraries do has never been confined within the walls of the building – they are in our lives and in our communities. Delivered by professional staff and working in partnership libraries are increasingly using new technologies and changes in the way we acquire and share knowledge to provide truly life-changing services that meet our needs today.”

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