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ACE launches online library consultation
01.10.12 | Joshua Farrington
Arts Council England has launched the latest round of its consultation into the future of libraries; however campaigners have expressed their disappointment that the survey is only available online.
The next step of ACE's Envisioning the Library of the Future programme has been put online, with members of the public invited to submit their views via an online survey.
It asks users questions such as: “In what ways do you/your family use public library services?”, and “What do you think should be the main purposes of public library services?”
But Laura Swaffield, chair of The Library Campaign, said it a shame that the survey was only open to internet users, despite the fact many library-goers have limited access to, or experience with, computers.
She said: “We are pretty disappointed at the consultation. We think that the balance of it being online is against library users. We also feel it’s odd to ask people about their ideal library of future, and what it should be like in ten year’s time, when libraries are in crisis now, and might not be here in two year’s time. We are asking to have a meeting with the Arts Council to see it can be changed.”
However, a spokesperson for Arts Council England said: “An online survey is an efficient and cost-effective way or reaching a large number of people. And, alongside this online element, we are also undertaking focused research in face-to-face workshops with members of the public in various parts of the country, so that we have a wide range of people contributing to our discussion and developing ideas. We want to understand what the public value about libraries and we recruited participants for these workshops so that they broadly represent the general population.”
The survey is open to comments until 21st October, and is available at http://librariesofthefuture.dialoguebydesign.net/