Libraries Unlimited - A Strategic Direction for Dublin City Libraries 2019-2023
A changing context
In recent years Dublin Public Libraries and the wider City Council have risen to the challenges arising from ongoing social, digital and economic changes. Libraries Unlimited 2019-2023 responds to a world that is increasingly shaped by internet and mobile technologies and the way they impact on how we access information and seek out new knowledge. An individual’s ability to engage with this wide range of technologies and opportunities, depends in the first instance on the development of literacy in all of its forms. It is probably the most fundamental part of education and lifelong learning, crucial to a person’s ability to develop fully as an individual, unleash their potential, and to participate fully in our society. Libraries are a vital resource in supporting literacy in our communities. Through expert selection and provision of a wide range of books and other materials in a free, open and informal setting, libraries can both support the acquisition of literacy skills and help foster a love of reading.
Our consultations suggest that:
Access to technology and digital literacy is now more integral to accessing public services.
There is evidence of Information overload and increasing lack of trust in source and provenance of available information.
People need space to recharge devices, check social media and get easy access to the Internet.
Self-determination and lifelong learning are key to improving quality of life.
Changing work patterns and a variety of contracts of employment are becoming the normal.
Minimising the impact of isolation and supporting people’s requirement to learn and make local connections is increasingly necessary in a global world.
Changing demographics including ageing and cultural and ethnic diversity, are now realities alongside social exclusion and homelessness.
Change and trends in Libraries
People who use our services expect easier access and more online content.
In the midst of a digital revolution, libraries need to innovate to demonstrate their worth in order to avoid being seen as old-fashioned and tired.
Our citizens are growing up and living in a multi-cultural capital city.
People in cities tend to have less privacy and fewer public spaces for reflection and relaxation.
On-going investment in technological infrastructure is essential to ensure we are ahead of the curve.
There is a dynamic tension between centralisation of services and the need for local services ready to respond to the local environments.
The staff resource was stretched as a consequence of the recession and the moratorium on staff recruitment.
Library spaces are changing to become multi-purpose community facilities that contribute to place-making and community connection, providing a space for creativity and participation, where people come together to share ideas and create new knowledge.