26 March 2015
Jersey’s Library Service is embarking on a series of projects to refocus its work. The aim is to put literacy, lifelong learning and digital skills at the forefront of what it does for the community.
The initiatives, which include the introduction of full online resources, more self-service, more literacy sessions for all ages and more partnership working with other organisations, will be the biggest refocus of Jersey Library’s work for a generation.
Chief Librarian Ed Jewell said "We are working in a fast-changing and increasingly digital world. This can be challenging at times but it is also a great opportunity for us as a Library Service to find new ways to support islanders who use the library and help them realise their – and our – potential. Good literacy, ICT skills and life-long learning are now fundamental to success and the Library has a key role in supporting that.
"Our core purpose, to provide access to information, knowledge and culture, hasn’t changed. Developing and managing the outstanding collections that engage and inform our readers is still absolutely core to our success. We also need to develop cost efficient services that actively support customers to use the library, the Branch Library and the Mobile Library to the full."
Inspire lifelong learning
Education Sport and Culture Minister Deputy Rod Bryans said “The basic mission has not changed, but our vision for the Service is now more ambitious. Jersey Library’s work will be driven by its aim to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge and enrich Jersey’s cultural life. It is a community building in the heart of town and these new plans mean it can continue to thrive and remain relevant in an increasingly crowded information marketplace. The library has great potential to be a more inspiring, creative hub and these exciting plans will help deliver that."
Over the next 12 months the Library Service aims to:
- support the development of literacy skills for all age groups, providing new and engaging sessions for the youngest children and a robust and responsive service for the elderly.
- ensure everyone in Jersey has the opportunity to get online and develop their digital skills. Support sessions will include one-to-one training and ECDL courses in the Open Learning Centres, Coding Club and Minecraft meet-ups.
- make the Library’s services completely accessible online – so users can register, borrow and get questions answered without visiting a physical Library.
- help people realise their economic potential, both through ensuring the libraries offer excellent facilities for independent learning and by working with partners such as JobsFest and Jersey Business.
- celebrate and support local culture and history though reading groups, talks and workshops held in Jersey’s libraries and the expansion of our local studies services to better support family history research.
Effectively focused resources
Mr Jewell added "We have to achieve these developments with budget pressures in mind. To do that we will be continuing our ongoing review of all administrative procedures and introducing full self-service in the Town Library to ensure our resources can be used as effectively as possible and are focused on benefiting the front line."
One immediate benefit will come into effect when self-service is introduced in June, enabling the Town Library to extend its opening hours, starting the day at 9am rather than 9:30am from Tuesday to Saturday.
Mr Jewell added "During the past year I have been struck by how dearly islanders hold their Library Service. This isn’t a Library that serves 100,000 people – it is a Library that has 100,000 owners. We are embarking on a programme of change that will ensure the future vitality of Jersey Library. I firmly believe that the Library has an essential role to play in Jersey’s future and am determined to develop a service that is responsive to islanders’ needs."