Public Library Information Offer

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science, Media
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Universal Information Offer Sally McMahon Executive Lead Society of Chief Librarians

Universal Information Offer – Linked to Assisted Digital The UIO seeks to position public libraries so that they are seen as one of the natural places to offer support to citizens accessing government information and services, and so result in the commissioning of public libraries by Government to deliver ‘Assisted Digital Services’.

Assisted Digital Services Definition Assisted digital support is for users who are not able to use digital services without help. 18% of UK adults are offline Those needing Assisted Digital are those who: • won’t ever be able to use the digital service independently and will always need assisted digital support • could use the digital service independently, but will need assisted digital support at the beginning to build their confidence in using the service Assisted Digital support will also develop people’s capacity to use services online on their own in future

Public Libraries are suited to provide assisted digital services • • • • • •

Existing national network Local access points Trusted places and people User focused Digital champions & trusted intermediaries Strong local and national partnerships

What is the Universal Information Offer? • Reaffirms public libraries’ role to provide citizen’s information as part of our statutory duty • Supports people to access information and services online in lifecritical areas such as careers and job seeking, health, personal financial information and benefits.

What is the Universal Information Offer? • Brings together government and nongovernmental sources of information, which have been researched by information professionals in public libraries, giving a level of quality assurance to the user. • Ensures that public library staff and volunteers are continually developing their skills to provide help to people accessing information and services.

Key Components • National information sources to an assured standard are made available • An assured standard of workforce skills and knowledge to meet expectations is reinforced • That the technology used will support easy access to the information, be available through public libraries across the country and be sustainable.

Way we are working • Steering group: SCL, ACE, CILIP, GDS • Working groups: Advocacy, content, IT, workforce development • National workshops

Current Work Streams Four strands of work supported by working groups: • Advocacy • Workforce development • Infrastructure • Content development • In addition a research strand

Content - Progress • The content working group has researched and agreed the main online information sources under six core headings • Every public library authority has been asked to supply local links for each of these subject areas, and these are now being collected

Subjects covered • Benefits • Business and Enterprise • Health and Wellbeing • Jobs, Careers and Skills • Rights and Citizenship • Your Money

Infrastructure - Progress • Written specification for infrastructure • Bookmark website launched with National links • Workshop with GDS and GOV.UK as ‘critical friend’ • Working on creating a facility to enable people to move from the national sources to local links

Workforce Development - Progress A major piece of research has been completed covering: • Role of Public Libraries in delivering supported access to government services and information online • Skills and competencies for library digital champions to support customer digital capability • Results of a Skills Audit of the customer facing library workforce across England and Wales and the identification of staff confidence levels

Workforce Development - Progress • Framework of knowledge skills and behaviours agreed, and mapped against: • LSIS/LARMIS National Occupational Standards • CILIP work on Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB)

Skills Audit Report • Focused on the competence & confidence of workforce • Snapshot of the workforce & baseline information • Over 8,550 people (44% of the workforce) from 120 authorities (69% of PLAs) completed the survey • Report of national results has been published • Each library authority can have their own results • Workforce development group have just completed drawing up a specification for a training and development programme to address the gaps identified

Research Strand • Further work to provide more evidence of role of library staff in supporting others to use digital resources • Report published of case studies and outcomes for people supported in libraries

Advocacy - Update • • • • • •

Presentations/discussions at all regional SCL meetings Included in briefing to Culture Minister Shared with partners: ACE, GDS, OCLC, TRA National press releases Information sent to CILIP for inclusion in publications Shared with CILIP Information Literacy group and presented at a CILIP seminar • Links made to Enquire development and online reference group • Links made to Health Information Project and TRA

Next Steps • Development / commissioning of the national development programme • Individual authorities to use their own survey results to develop core information skills of their workforce • Further work on the technical infrastructure • Link to other information initiatives • Assisted digital aside, libraries need to be prepared to respond to the likely growing need for help using digital information and services

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