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The Network supports libraries, museums, archives, galleries and other cultural and heritage organisations (as well as individuals) who are working to tackle social exclusion and towards social justice.

Arts Council report published!

The Arts Council have published (25 July) John Vincent's report on public libraries and equality & diversity, Libraries welcome everyone: six stories of diversity and inclusion from libraries in England.

This report presents the results from ‘desk research’ and a call for examples (which resulted in a terrific response from colleagues across England), plus the findings of six case studies, the aim of which was to explore different aspects of equality and diversity provision as part of a new development in each of the six library services. 

"The research found that:

  • there is a keen appetite for reading and writing and associated activities, and these can have a huge impact on local communities
  • there is growing evidence of the wider benefits of visiting libraries, reading and associated activities, for example on health, wellbeing, tackling loneliness, digital inclusion, improving literacy and digital literacy 
  • successful library initiatives are those where the piece of work is linked to/drawn from national, regional and local policy priorities 
  • as well as buildings-based provision, libraries’ outreach and partnership-working are vital, and the research showed the benefits of building strong partnerships with local communities and community organisations, following sensitive consultation as to community needs
  • public libraries are making real efforts to engage with local people, especially those who may not regularly use library services 
  • sustainability of the provision is critical to its longer-term success and impact" [p5]

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