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									                                      NORTH YORKSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

                      COMMUNICATIONS OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

                                                  4th June 2004

                         Public Library Position Statement and Standards Report 2004



1.0      PURPOSE OF REPORT

1.1      To provide Members with details of the requirement of the Department of Culture, Media
         and Sport (DCMS) for the 2004 Library Position Statement.

1.2      To highlight the initiatives and issues to be addressed in North Yorkshire's submission.

1.3      To invite comments from Members to help with the final drafting of the Public Library
         Position Statement and Standards Report.



2.0      BACKGROUND

2.1      The Government's requirement for library authorities to submit Annual Library Plans (ALP)
         was discontinued after 2002. ALPs were succeeded by Position Statements which are to
         be submitted for a maximum of two years (2003 and 2004) by all library authorities other
         than those exempted on the basis of their CPA performance. North Yorkshire is not exempt
         and is required to submit a Public Library Position Statement and Standards report in 2004.
         The Standards report is made to inform the Government about the authority's progress in
         meeting the national Public Library Standards.

2.2      North Yorkshire's first Position Statement, submitted in 2003 following discussion with the
         BACS Overview and Scrutiny Committee and approval by the Executive, was assessed as
         follows -

         ž    Overall quality of the evidence that the authority was aiming to implement 'Framework
              for the Future' (the Government's ten year strategy for public libraries) in line with local
              needs

              ž   GRADED 3 ('Good') out of 4

         ž    Quality of the evidence that the authority is meeting the Public Library Standards

              ž   GRADED 1 ('Weak') out of 4

2.3      The Council appealed against this grading re: the Standards on the basis of the authority's
         clear commitment to increased investment to meet them. This was rejected due to the low
         number of standards which had been actually achieved at that point, 31st March 2003.
         However, the financial year 2002/03 was only the first year of the Council's £300k increase
         per annum for four years. Movement towards these Standards is now considerably
         improved and can be seen from our submission.




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2.4      The Government is still discussing the arrangements which will replace Position Statements
         from 2005. In due course, local authorities will be consulted on any proposals.



3.0      GUIDANCE ON POSITION STATEMENT AND STANDARDS REPORT.

3.1      Draft guidance for the 2004 Statement and Report has been received recently and it is this
         document which has been used to prepare this report (see Appendix for details). The final
         guidance is unlikely to differ in any major respect.

         ž    The objective of the Position Statement is to show how the library authority is shaping
              and delivering its service in line with the themes in 'Framework for the Future' and to
              give an indication of its current service levels.

         ž    Authorities should make their Position Statement and Standards Report available to
              their external auditors and any Inspectors to verify its factual accuracy following its
              submission to DCMS and the return of the assessment.

         ž    The Report is to be submitted to DCMS by 30th September 2004.

         ž    Authorities should concentrate on the performance of the library service and state how
              they are improving it.

         ž    The report must not exceed 25 pages.

         ž    The elected Member with the main responsibility for the library service should sign the
              report to indicate that the document has political backing within the authority.

         ž    Position Statements and Standards Reports will be assessed in relation both to the
              guidance and to information on authorities' performance in relation to the public library
              standards. A four point scoring system will be used (1 - weak; 2 - fair; 3 - good; 4 -
              excellent)

         ž    Two assessment scores will be given:

              i.       on the quality of the evidence that authorities are providing excellent policies and
                       practice to implement Framework for the Future, in line with local needs and the
                       corporate vision;

              ii.      the quality of evidence that authorities are currently meeting the public library
                       standards, including progress since national standards were introduced in 2001,
                       and their progress in meeting local standards. This will also include an
                       assessment of the realism of resource provision to meet the standards.

3.2      A great deal of the Position Statement is factual and the Appendix 1 outlines a proposed
         response to the guidance.

3.3      The Position Statement has to be submitted by 30th September 2004 and needs to be
         approved by the Executive early in September.




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4.0      RECOMMENDATIONS

4.1      It is recommended that:-

         ž    Members note the content of this report

         ž    Members highlight any additional issues which they wish to see included in the
              submission.


Gordon Gresty
Director of Business and Community Services


Background Papers:

Framework for the Future : Libraries, Learning and Information in the next decade (DCMS, 2003)
Public Library Position Statements and Standards Report : Draft Guidance 2004 (DCMS, 2004)
Comprehensive, Efficient and Modern Public Libraries : Standards and assessment (DCMS, 2001)
Building Better Library Services (Audit Commission, 2002)

Available from:
Gordon Gresty, Director of Business & Community Services, County Hall, Northallerton, DL7 8AD.
Telephone: 01609 532556
E-mail: gordon.gresty@northyorks.gov.uk




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                                                                                           APPENDIX 1

                                POSITION STATEMENT - THEMES TO ADDRESS

This Appendix is structured in the same format as DCMS's guidance in order that Members are
aware of the themes to be addressed and of the initiatives and issues which will be included in the
submission.

1.0      Corporate vision and ambition for the library service

1.1      TO ADDRESS:-

         ž    The Authority's ambition and vision for the library service in the context of contributing
              to corporate objectives and meeting local needs

         ž    The capacity of the authority to meet the vision

         ž    The headlines of evidence on which this assessment has been based.

1.2      SUBMISSION TO INCLUDE:-

         ž    Role of library service in Public Access Strategy and E-Government strategy
              (development of Community Resource Centres; ICT access)

         ž    Commitment of the Council to the service through increased revenue funding of £1.2m
              over four years and the ongoing capital programme

2.0      Response to 'Framework for the Future'

2.1      TO ADDRESS:-

         For each of the themes listed below, there is a requirement to address the library service's

         ž    key strengths, constraints and challenges

         ž    headlines of policies and practices for adults and children

         ž    response to national programmes

         ž    key points of activities to develop and evaluate practice

         ž    priorities and targets

         ž    timescale for activities

         In addition there are a number of more specific issues to address -

         ž    activities to encourage participation in informal learning

         ž    services that users may access electronically

         ž    involvement in developing and implementing the authority's e-government strategy

         ž    actions which assist library users and non users to develop citizenship and to encourage
              a community identity, including other facilities available in libraries

         ž    how the service links to the authority's plans to improve and develop customer services

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         ž    actions to improve leadership, staff capacity and skills

         ž    partnerships in place or planned

2.2      SUBMISSION TO INCLUDE:-

         Reading

         ž    Involvement in a range of national and regional initiatives

         ž    Range of activities including reading groups, storytimes etc.

         ž    Senior Officer now dedicated to a reading development role to drive forward policy
              development and to stimulate and co-ordinate initiatives

         ž    Implementation of revised stock policy including a revised stock selection process

         ž    New electronic library management system (Talis) implemented at all libraries

         ž    Extension of reader development strategy to include work with children and young
              people

         Learning

         ž    Bookstart projects providing books and encouragement to 9 month old babies and their
              parents

         ž    Provision of stock, ICT access and study spaces

         ž    Learndirect points in Ripon, Ingleton and Sherburn libraries

         ž    Senior Officer dedicated to Lifelong Learning remit to develop policy and to stimulate
              and co-ordinate initiatives

         ž    Adult Basic Education (Vital Link)

         ž    New policies in relation to Children's Services and to Local Studies

         Digital Citizenship

         ž    Library service role in Council's Public Access Strategy

         ž    Provision of broadband access and public computers including free Internet access

         ž    248 staff with ECDL qualification

         ž    Involvement in national programmes (e.g., Virtual Reference Service, Ask a Librarian)

         ž    Delivery of local training sessions for the public, e.g., beginners' guide to the
              Internet/Silver Surfers

         ž    Wi-Fi site established at Ayton Library as part of a national pilot, one of only eight sites
              in the country

         ž    Availability of major collection of historic images on the Internet (Unnetie project)

         ž    Partnerships with local colleges (Craven, Ripon, Selby)

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         ž    Several services being made available through the website, e.g., library catalogue and
              reservations, booking computers

         ž    New ICT policy in development

         Community and civic values (e.g., social inclusion, accessibility, new/refurbished buildings,
         consultation)

         ž    Capital programme is delivering major premises improvements - refurbishments and
              rebuilds

         ž    Social Inclusion policy and action plan now developed and being implemented

         ž    Opening hours significantly increased and a higher proportion are now at weekends -
              consultation carried out in communities where the pattern of opening hours is being
              reviewed

         ž    New consultation strategy now in place

         ž    New 'supermobile' will provide extended service to some communities where access to
              static libraries is difficult for people with disabilities. Many libraries are already fully
              accessible via automatic doors, ramps, lifts and induction loops.

         ž    Support to jobseekers through ETS centres in Northallerton and Scarborough libraries,
              JobCentrePlus telephones and peripatetic employment advisers

         ž    Other developing partnerships eg Pensions Service, Business Link, Registration Service

         ž    LPSA target to double the number of housebound readers

         ž    IFFY project being extended gradually to become a county-wide service

         ž    Equalities Impact Assessments being done on certain areas of service (towards
              Corporate Equalities Strategy Level 2)

         ž    Training all staff to raise awareness of Disability Discrimination Act

         ž    Corporate complaints procedure being implemented

         ž    Implementing new marketing strategies for some key areas of service, e.g., new /
              refurbished premises; public access to computers; housebound service

         Building capacity to deliver transformation (e.g., staffing structure, staff development,
         premises, partnerships)

         ž    New Staffing structure implemented on 5 April 2004. Has created more opportunities to
              attract younger people to improve the age profile of the staff and therefore better reflect
              the population as a whole.

         ž    Potential for career development of staff significantly improved (LMU courses, support
              for professional education, availability of NVQs)

         ž    Directorate has achieved Investors in People award

         ž    Wide range of partnerships in place

         ž    New policy for staff learning and development
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         ž    Development of workforce planning strategy

         ž    New performance management framework in place

3.0      Public Library Standards

3.1      TO ADDRESS:-

         ž    Performance against standards at 31st March 2004

         ž    Reasons for not meeting standards (authority's progress towards meeting standards
              since 2001 will be taken into account by the assessors)

         ž    Local targets for, and performance in relation to, services for people with disabilities,
              ethnic minority communities, socially excluded people, children

         ž    Intentions for developing and monitoring standards if none in place

3.2      SUBMISSION TO INCLUDE:-

         ž    Progress towards meeting the standards at 31st March 2004

         ž    Plans for meeting the remaining standards, highlighting the Council's commitment
              through increased funding

         ž    Progress report on targets

         ž    Future intentions for meeting and developing targets

         Members should note that there is a national review of the Public Library Standards in
         progress. This is likely to lead to some changes and more emphasis being placed on both
         the provision of evidence for the impact of the service's activities and also that these
         activities are addressing identified local needs.

4.0      Resources

4.1      TO ADDRESS:-

         For each of the areas listed below

         -    analysis of strengths, constraints and challenges

         -    adequacy of current and future resources to deliver against priorities

         -    level of authority's commitment to provide the resources

         -    timescale for responding to the constraints and challenges

4.2      SUBMISSION TO INCLUDE:-

         Spaces

         ž    Commitment to improve premises to allow delivery of a wider range of facilities including
              more public space, public toilets, baby changing facilities, refreshment areas (e.g.,
              Scarborough, Selby, Sherburn, Gargrave, Northallerton) along with more family friendly
              opening hours.

         ž    Capital programme outlining the work planned for the next few years.
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         Stock

         ž    Major improvements in provision of stock through increased investment especially at
              refurbished sites

         ž    New library management system (Talis) installed at all libraries to provide more efficient
              and effective service

         ž    Increased revenue budget to meet standard.

         Staffing

         ž    Achievement of Investors in People Award

         ž    Increased opportunities for staff development (e.g., opportunities to study for
              professional qualifications; increased support from Directorate) including emphasis on
              an increasingly customer - focussed service

         ž    Opportunities to achieve NVQs being introduced this year

         ž    Increase in staffing levels to help meet standard on opening hours

         ICT

         ž    Upgrade/redesign of website

         ž    New library management system implemented in all libraries including mobile libraries

         ž    Pilot of WiFI provision

         ž    Wide Area Network (Broadband) in all libraries




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