In a new development for Sintoblog I am pleased to introduce a guest blog by Roy Clare CBE, Chief Executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. Roy was previously director of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich. Formerly a Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy he commanded the Aircraft Carrier Invincible and the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.
After hearing him speak at the MLA Yorkshire Big Day event I asked Roy if he would share a few thoughts with members of SINTO:
Of all the activities that the MLA Partnership will be undertaking in the coming year, our work on public libraries will be uppermost. The Year of Reading, 2008 affords an opportunity to raise the profile of public library services. Stimulated by the new environment surrounding local government, the MLA Partnership will be taking forward its action plan and will communicate aspects of it in the very near future. In this context, we foresee a need to engage the public in conversations about the vital future role for public library services. Together with a wide range of professional and funding partners we can show how these services already help to engage and strengthen local communities, stimulate enjoyable learning for all ages and encourage informal participation by the young. The need for efficient and effective library services appears to be growing, not abating, with demographic changes bringing new users and fresh demands. We should invite the public - users and non-users - to contribute to the debate, so that the views of those who consume public library services and participate in their programmes are heard clearly and can help to shape the future. The MLA Partnership will also contribute to research to identify good practice, innovative ideas and new skills and, in turn, we will collaborate with sector skills councils and others on ways to build the capacity of the workforce. This is a dynamic agenda and one that the MLA Partnership looks forward to sharing, not least with the library profession, library users and other colleagues and stakeholders."
Your comments on this are very welcome.