CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Libraries and Information: Essential for a Brighter Future

#LibrariesAreEssential – Our Manifesto

#LibrariesAreEssential – Our Open Letter to all Councils and Trusts who provide library services in Scotland

As our nation approaches the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2021, CILIP Scotland will be leading a campaign called Libraries and Information: Essential for a Brighter Future. We believe that the importance of all libraries will be in sharper focus than ever as Scotland begins to emerge from the pandemic, and we want to emphasise the essential role that libraries play in the brighter future we are all hoping for. People across Scotland will need safe, trusted spaces, whether that be within the community, a school, a college, a university or a workplace, with skilled and supportive staff available to help people from every walk of life access what they need.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, we have been clear that no library workers should be asked to work on-site unless it is safe to do so. As Scotland moves towards a point of safe recovery from the pandemic, however, we are calling on all organisations to have a clear plan for reopening their libraries as vital and essential services. Covid-19 has also highlighted more starkly than ever before the very real danger presented by misinformation and the pernicious threat to both physical and mental wellbeing that ‘fake news’ represents. Misinformation erodes trust, weakens communities and can even jeopardise democracy itself, and the skilled professionals who make up the library and information sector are our frontline defence against this growing challenge.

We believe that #LibrariesAreEssential and we are asking all candidates standing for election on 3rd May to:

  • ​Support the funding of all libraries to ensure they can continue to support education, digital and information literacy, health and wellbeing, economic wellbeing and ​access to information.
  • Agree that misinformation is damaging society and eroding democracy, that libraries and information professionals are vital in combating this and that they should be valued and supported.
  • Ensure Local Government has the support required to ensure that they can deliver the new National Strategy for Public Libraries.
  • Ensure that school libraries and librarians are key components of curriculum delivery, as outlined in Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools, and that all school pupils have access to a trained librarian.

Over the coming weeks, our campaign activity will include:

  • Asking all the main parties to include the above asks in their manifestos
  • Producing evidence and key facts to support our campaign
  • Creating an evidence bank of case studies, supporting quotes, blogs and videos
  • Producing a manifesto document that will be sent to all candidates

#LibrariesAreEssential in Scotland, now more than ever, and we hope that you will join us in campaigning for their vital place in a brighter future.

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As part of our campaign, we asked the main parties standing for election in Scotland to answer a short series of questions about how their policies meet the needs of Scotland’s libraries and librarians. Click for the responses we received from the Scottish Conservatives, the Scottish Green Party, Scottish Labour, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party (we are awaiting responses from Alba and Alliance for Unity).

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Click here to share a supportive quote for the campaign saying why you think #LibrariesAreEssential to Scotland’s brighter future.

And click here to add a case study demonstrating the vital value of libraries.

We’re also keen to add a creative aspect to the campaign, and would love for Scotland’s writers, poets and artists to get involved! If you have a creative response you’d like to share that connects with the #LibrariesAreEssential theme (up to 40 lines of poetry or 500 words of prose – artwork also very welcome!) please email Membership Officer Kirsten at kirsten.macquarrie@cilips.org.uk

Thank you!

 

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