Skip Navigation
Access Optionsarrow
About us News Action Information Search Help

Help on using this website

Search this website

View printer friendly version of this page

Email this page to a friend or colleague

Investing in Knowledge
People's Network
Action for Archives
Framework for the Future
Wider Library Issues
Standards & Registration
Learning & Access
Managing Risk
Acceptance in Lieu
Portable Antiquities
Govt Indemnity Scheme
Online Initiatives
DCMS Wolfson

 Section description will appear here
Various images relating to Framework for the Future

Framework for the Future

MLA is working to turn Framework for the Future's vision into reality, and this means changing how our libraries are seen.

Over the next few months we will be consulting with staff and users across the library network as part of this work.

An online space has been created so library staff can find out what is happening in the project and make sure that their voices are heard.

Check it out at and help shape the future library.

Latest News Updates
Overview of Framework for the Future
Action Plan
Case studies of good practiceformat: html

Latest News

Development of library impact measures

In May 2004 a consultation paper was circulated to all Chief Librarians and other major stakeholders setting out recommendations for new service standards to apply during 2004/05. Final recommendations will be announced after the consultation responses have been analysed.

Service standards

The range of service standards set out in the recent consultation document is based on the best of the existing public library standards. They have been reviewed and in some case refined to provide some key outcome standards based on credible statistics and methodologies for their collection. They have also been shown to have practical value to assist Chief Librarians and local authorities to secure support for improvement in library services. These service standards will be kept under review but they will only be changed as necessary to ensure a time series of comparable data that will show improvement over a period of time.

Impact Measures

In addition a range of impact measures is being developed to provide evidence of the real the real value of library services to the lives of individuals and the development of communities. These impact measures will allow degrees of flexibility to enable the impact to reflect local community needs and profiles.

As part of the consultation and development of these measures MLA, DCMS, SCL and the Audit Commission have organised two seminars for Chief Librarians. As a result of the seminars it is hoped to define an outline model.

The first of these seminars was held in Leeds on 12 July and the three powerpoint presentations given by Catherine Blanshard (Leeds), David Lightfoot (Lancashire) and Helen Dean (Audit Commission) are available here.

Measuring Impact (Catherine Blanshard)format: ppt
Public Library Standards (David Lightfoot)format: ppt
Impact measures, CPA and service inspection (Helen Dean)format: ppt

The second seminar will build on the work done in the first


Leadership Development Programme

The response to the invitation for nominations to the pilot programme has been overwhelming, with a total of 163 nominations have been received, from 84 authorities.  This is extremely encouraging, particularly the high number of heads of service who have nominated themselves for Level 1.  The overall message is that there is a strong support and demand for this programme.  The latest report from FPM is now available.  It includes an analysis of the nominations, a breakdown of the anticipated learning outcomes, information on evaluation and roll-out, and a draft course programme.

Progress Report to Steering Group 24 June 2004 (PDF 321KB)format: pdf v.1.4
Progress Report to Steering Group 24 June 2004 (Word 190KB)format: doc


Public Libraries Stock Quality Health Check launched

This is a practical tool to help libraries to meet the challenges set out in Building Better Library Services. It has been developed by The Audit Commission in partnership with the Arts Council of England, MLA, DCMS and the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL), making the Health Check freely and widely available for libraries to use in their self-evaluation. For further details see

News Updates

From January 2004 these news updates will appear regularly, outlining major recent activity within each of the Framework for the Future strategic objectives. They are not intended as comprehensive reports, but will highlight some specific areas which may be of interest. There are also fuller monitoring reports, the first of which is now available below.


Strategic Implementation Group feedback; Communications; Progress on implementation

format: pdf v.1.4Apr 2004 Update (PDF 59KB)
format: docApr 2004 Update (Word 149KB)


Strategic Implementation Group feedback; Leadership; Case Studies; Books; Reading and Learning; Community Engagement and Library Buildings format: pdf v.1.4Mar 2004 Update (PDF 56KB)
format: docMar 2004 Update (Word 195KB)


Adult learning; Support for specific authorities; Disabilities; Community cohesion and Library buildings format: pdf v.1.4Feb 2004 Update (PDF 48KB)
format: docFeb 2004 Update (Word 56KB)
January Marketing; Leadership development; Their Reading Futures; Early years; Basic skills and the People's Network format: pdf v.1.4Jan 2004 Update (PDF 96KB)
format: docJan 2004 Update (Word 179KB)

Monitoring Reports

We are sorry for the delay in reporting on the final quarter of 2003-4.  This report also includes activity from the first few weeks of this year.

format: pdf v.1.4Mar 2004 QM Report PDF (745KB) format: docMar 2004 QM Report Word (345KB)


Overview of Framework for the Future

In February 2003, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published Framework for the Future. This sets out the government's long term strategic vision for public libraries. It is a framework to develop capacity to improve through imaginative innovation and operational effectiveness and efficiency, and is characterised by a clear national policy framework and flexible delivery adapted to meet local community needs and circumstances.

Framework for the Future sets out a modern mission for public libraries based on:

  • Evolution: building on traditional core skills
  • Public value: focusing on areas where intervention will deliver the largest benefits to society
  • Distinctiveness: building on libraries' open, neutral and self-help culture
  • Local interpretations of national programmes: raising the profile of the service and adapting programmes to meet local needs

This modern mission will be achieved through delivering interlinked programmes of work on the following themes:

  • Capacity to deliver transformation through innovative and effective management
  • Books, reading and learning
  • Digital citizenship
  • Civic and community value


Action Plan

MLA has developed a three-year Action Plan for public libraries for 2003-06, in collaboration with a wide range of partners. Its aim is to help library services achieve the vision of the DCMS 2003 report. The Action Plan presents a range of projects and programmes covering the central themes for public libraries identified in the report:

format: docFramework for the Future: Action Plan 2003-06 (Word 502KB)
format: pdf v.1.4Framework for the Future: Action Plan 2003-06 (PDF 761KB)

format: pdf v.1.4Framework for the Future pamphlet (PDF 475KB)
format: docFramework for the Future pamphlet (TEXT ONLY Word 50KB)

For further information contact Andrew Stevens, Senior Policy Adviser (Libraries), 020 7273 1405 or email


Home | Investing in Knowledge | International | Regional | Peoples Network | Renaissance | Action for Archives | Framework for the Future | Wider Library Issues | Standards & Registration | Learning & Access | Designation | Collections | Managing Risk | Workforce | Acceptance In Lieu | Portable Antiquities | Govt Indemnity Scheme | Online Initiatives | DCMS Wolfson | PRISM Fund
Copyright © MLA 2004. All rights reserved. Legal Notices Design & Technology by ReadingRoom