Good morning councillors, ladies and gentlemen. This morning I am going to talk to you about the Libraries Change Lives Award which is sponsored by CILIP – the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and one of its Special Interest Groups – the Community Services Group. I am here today as the Chair of the Judging Panel and Vice-Chair of the Community Services Group which focusses on community engagement and social justice. I have worked in libraries for over 30 years and I currently have at least 2 jobs - working part-time for Dorset Libraries as Senior Manager Customer Services and my main focus is on the new ways of working as we have, to date, installed self-service in 32 of our 34 libraries. This has had a huge impact on staff and customers. We have also recently launched our e-books service using Overdrive with 100 books available. However, Dorset is a rural authority with a high percentage of older people and access to the internet may be more difficult than in an urban area and some of the libraries are very small and may only open 6 hours – so we are using the self-service to open up access using volunteers outside of staffed opening hours. I also previously worked in Bournemouth managing the IT and developing public access services some of which were for a new flagship central library that was financed through PFI and replaced an outdated Carnegie Library that was in the wrong location in town. I was also involved in a number of new community libraries with co-located services. as well as developing new community libraries and as a freelance consultant working on a number of projects including an advocacy project with CILIP. I am very passionate about libraries and the role that they play in the community through providing community hubs that provides locally relevant services. I am also very passionate about the virtual library and how this adds value to the traditional model. And key to all this is the people – the staff and the customers and the connections that they make to make a difference. And this is why The Libraries Change Lives Award is important in identifying models of best practice that showcase where libraries are working within the social inclusion agendas. The award started in 1992 and I have been privileged to be involved as a judge since 2007 and to hear about all the different areas of work and partnerships that libraries engage in with their communities.
The Libraries Change Lives Award is UK based and must include a Library and Information Service and one or more partners. The user community needs to be well-defined and to be actively involved, through consultation and engagement, in the project, which should be an example of best practice demonstrating equality of access and diversity. The project needs to demonstrate robust financial planning with evidence of evaluation and sustainability options. And the critical element is demonstrating the impact on individual’s lives and evidence of ‘changing’ lives.
The Libraries Change Lives Award has value to the library world on 3 different levels. Firstly, Value to the library staff The award provides an Opportunity for celebration by the team, and with this, comes Recognition and validation for all their work and is likely to increase staff motivation. Secondly, Value to the organisation T he award demonstrates the value of the library service to key stakeholders and funders . Advocacy for libraries and library services is currently at a critical level both nationally and locally with all local government services having to make savings. This award demonstrates where libraries are impacting on local communities and working in partnership to improve and add value to services. Thirdly, there is Value to the profession nationally as the award provides Positive stories from users and staff that can be used to evidence the value of libraries and influence the politicians and key stakeholders at a national level.
So, today, I would like to tell you a bit more about the Libraries Change Lives 2009 Finalists that the Judges then visited to find out more about each of the projects.
The Libraries Change Lives 2009 winner was The Leeds Project, Across the Board which supports families and children within the Autistic spectrum. This project began with one parent asking one library if it could supply Boardmaker – a symbols-based software for children and young people with communication problems - as Autism may affect quality of social communication and social interaction. And this picture, from the Award Ceremony last July at Umbrella , is Kate Webber, the parent who started this project – her belief that the library could help her, as a parent, and her son, Theo, and other children with autism. Kate said – ‘It’s so exciting to have a meeting place in libraries ...It’s an enormous comfort to realise I’m not alone in this, my child isn’t the only child who does this’.
The key to the success of this project has been the quality of the Partnerships that were developed, which included the Specialist Teachers Autism Response Service (STARS) and NHS Leeds (the speech and language therapy service). In Leeds 300 families have children within the Autistic spectrum plus 25 pre-school children diagnosed every year. Boardmaker software was installed in 16 libraries across Leeds and the symbols could be customised, personalised, printed off, laminated and placed in pouches. These symbols are then mounted on a symbols board and used for a task list or in whatever way is appropriate for their communication needs. Leeds library service worked with these partners and parents to provide autism awareness training for library staff and monthly parent advice and networking sessions. The Libraries Change Lives application detailed the impact on Kate and her son, Theo, of this project. However, as the judges reviewed the application and saw the way in which the project had developed from that one conversation it became apparent that the impact of this project was far reaching. And this aspect – the availability of the software and the provision to have words available within a relatively short timescale was critical for the children, families and teachers. Prior to this project it could take months for a parent or a school to get a new word – and this would have an educational, social and behavioural impact. One parent said – ‘without the symbols he doesn’t even make the effort to speak. For me and him in our little world the pictures are fantastic’ This was a low cost project, as the main cost was the software, and the Leeds team have received requests for information and support from other library services across the country. Leeds are also developing this project to use Boardmaker with other user groups who may benefit from using symbols and visual communication, such as older people. Justin said that winning the Award had a huge impact on the project – they have upgraded the software and increased the number of licences. The National Autistic Society has included their services on the website and Leeds are working with the software supplier to help expand the scope of the project. This project has also won another accolade – the Jodi Award 2009 for Digital Access for People with a Learning Disability. Given by the Jodi Mattes Trust to promote accessible digital culture.
Note to me: I am going to show you an extract from the Libraries Change lives video so that you can see how Boardmaker is used and hear from the parents.
The Edinburgh Reading Champion Project is about library staff working with children in care to discover a passion and enthusiasm for reading. The project was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Right to Read Scheme with matched funding from Edinburgh Council. This is from the Celebration at the Award Ceremony at Umbrella 2009 last July Representing the Edinburgh project is Liz McGettigan, Head of Libraries and Information Services, Martin Goodwin, Children and Families Dept, and Colm Linnane, Reading Champion with Sir Andrew Motion, ,Previous Poet Laureate and Chair Museum Library and Archive Council presenting the awards.
And, I think that this image perfectly captures, Colm Linnane, who is the Reading Champion – his passion and his enthusiasm and his fun. This is on the specialist Book Bus which visits the Residential Care Units for young people to browse and choose their own books. This is also another opportunity for staff to encourage reading and talk to the young people about books. As well as promoting a passion for reading and books, Colm also works with staff in the residential care units to enthuse and influence them on the relevance of books and reading. He organises training and gives advice on how to make reading part of daily life for the children in their care. His passion and enthusiasm for reading and working with children and young people was demonstrated many times during our visit to the project.
The Reading Champion Project’s overall objective is - for looked after children and young people in residential care - to discover pleasure in reading There is a Partner Advisory Group with a wide range of partners which demonstrated the high level of integration within this project. The list of partners includes – Edinburgh Children and Families Dept, , Action for Children Scotland, the Scottish Storytelling Centre, NCH Scotland, Edinburgh Family Support Centre, Barnardos, Who Cares? Scotland, Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Scottish Book Trust and Edinburgh Unesco City of Literature Trust. The Project Board has bi-monthly plan and review meetings with the outcomes evaluated by the Board and the Scottish Institute of Child Care, an external , independent and academic body – this again demonstrated the rigour of this project and this application. The project plan was excellent, providing a very detailed and comprehensive plan of the project with SMART evaluations and impact evidence. The main Outcome for the project is to increase the number of looked after children who read for pleasure as evidenced by the number who read and an increase in the number of books, magazines and reading resources utilised within care homes with supporting activities and detailed impact evidence which would then provide the future direction of travel. A Benchmark Study was carried out in the 14 care Centres using the John Vincent Framework Working with children and young people in care – the ‘library journey’ , to measure progress with 3 Bench Marks achieved - Embedded, Engaged, Community led. And this is what identified this project as a finalist – it was an exceptionally detailed application set within a strategic framework, providing an impact assessment that would support the development of future work with looked after children within Edinburgh. St Katharine’s Young People Centre hosted the Judges visit and it was an opportunity for us to see the setting and to find out more about the key people involved and the impact on the children and young people. During the visit we were all very impressed by the staff and partner organisations and how they were working together to ensure that reading was an integrated activity at a daily level. During the day the young people were very enthusiastic and keen to tell us about the visit by Anthony Horowitz who had definitely captured their imagination. We also particularly recognised the passion of the Reading Champion and the level of trust and respect that he engendered in the young people. It was also evident that there was a high level of enjoyment as there seemed to be lots of fun and laughter and smiles when they were talking about reading and you could see and hear them feeling more confident as they spoke about the project. We listened to the children and young people’s stories and experiences and could see that reading was becoming very important to them at a number of different levels from reading for pleasure and learning, to the psychological and therapeutic benefits. I came away from the visit feeling that the staff and the work that they were doing – and would continue to do with all the new children as they came through their doors - would make a difference to their lives and that hopefully, the reading habit would continue with them into their future lives. This project had also received further recognition as it has been shortlisted for the Local Government Chronicle Award. I would now like you to see to a short video that was made for the Libraries Change Lives Award which will give you a greater insight into the project and its impact.
Here is the video. And, I am sure that you will agree with me that passion and connections are what this project is all about with Colm’s passion and enthusiasm shining through.
This is from John Vincent , one of the Libraries Change Lives Judges and an expert in the field of libraries and looked after children.
The Six Book Challenge was also a Libraries Change Lives Finalist in 2009. This annual scheme is designed to encourage adults to read for pleasure with libraries playing a central role in supplying appealing books, reaching out to participants, celebrating their achievements and offering them a way of sustaining their new reading habit. The readers sign up to read 6 books over an identified period, they complete a Diary and then receive a Certificate at the end. For some this may be the first time they have ever been able to read one book, yet alone 6 books. It may also be the first time they have ever received a Certificate of achievement. Here you can see Alan Smith, Library Supervisor, whom we met as part of our Judges visit to HMP Brinsford Young Offenders Institute, Staffordshire. He is at the Awards ceremony talking about what the award meant for him and the young men that he works with, many of whom had previously read very little. This was the 2 nd year that Alan had run the Challenge and it was run over a concentrated few weeks to keep the young men focussed and motivated. 68 lads signed up and 12 completed the Challenge. Another 11 didn’t finish as they had left or moved to another prison, proving the point that this needs to operate in all prisons. Alan is another inspirational member of staff who, to me, was a key factor in the success of the scheme at Brinsford. He has a passion for reading and could see how improving literacy levels through developing a reading habit could help these young men in the future and possibly be a factor in them not re-offending.
I am going to show you a short extract from the Six book Challenge video ........ Finish after says Renfrewshire .. And how its interpreted locally.
I would like to finish by highlighting some of the past year’s finalists and their user communities. 1.Read Yourself Well – East Ayrshire – adults with mental health difficulties 2.Large – Leeds School Library service school children with visual impairment 3. Time 2 Give – Kent Libraries and Archives – volunteers 4. Bradford/ Care Trust Libraries Partnership Project – adults wth profound and multiple learning disabilities 5.Nunny TV – North East Lincolnshire – working with young people and older people 6. Welcome to Your Library – refugee and asylum seekers 7. Sighthill Library Youth Work – the library and the staff have made a huge difference to the lives of the children and young people in this deprived area of Edinburgh.
So, thank you very much for listening to this account of the CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award and I am sure that you will agree with me that these projects demonstrate the value and impact of libraries and how they can make a difference and change people’s lives.
Libraries Change Lives Award 1992-2010
Libraries Change Lives Award 1992- 2010 Linda Constable Chair of Judging Panel [email_address]
LCLA Award Criteria <ul><li>LIS and partners </li></ul><ul><li>User community </li></ul><ul><li>Best practice </li></ul><ul><li>Equality of access and diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Financial planning </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Changes lives </li></ul>
Libraries Change Lives Award <ul><li>Value to the staff </li></ul><ul><li>Value to the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Value to the profession </li></ul>
LCLA Winner 2009 Across the Board Leeds Libraries
Across the Board: Leeds Libraries <ul><li>Services and support for families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) </li></ul><ul><li>Range of partners across Leeds </li></ul><ul><li>User group : 300+ families in Leeds </li></ul><ul><li>Boardmaker in 16 libraries - PN PCs & printers </li></ul><ul><li>Positive impact of project: changing lives </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability and the future </li></ul><ul><li>Jodi Award 2009 - Digital Access People with a Learning Disability </li></ul>
Edinburgh Reading Champion Project <ul><li>Reading for pleasure for looked after children & young people in residential care </li></ul><ul><li>Partner Advisory Group </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed Project Development Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Staff professionalism and commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on children and young people </li></ul><ul><li>Funding and sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Local Government Chronicle Award 2010 - Shortlist </li></ul>
Edinburgh Reading Champion Project <ul><li>"This is a very rare example of work by a public library service with young people who are amongst the most vulnerable we are ever likely to meet. To be successful takes perseverance and commitment, as well as an honesty that the young people will connect with - anything less, and they will see through it, and turn away.“ </li></ul><ul><li>John Vincent, the Network </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.seapn.org.uk/ </li></ul>
LCLA Finalist 2009 Six Book Challenge Reading Agency in association with Costa Coffee <ul><li>Annual scheme for adult learners and emergent readers to encourage reading for pleasure </li></ul><ul><li>6 books, Diary, Certificate </li></ul><ul><li>Partners incl. FE Colleges, Prisons, Trade Unions, Workplace </li></ul><ul><li>LCLA Case Studies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>West Staffordshire Libraries, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Renfrewshire Libraries, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sussex Libraries, </li></ul></ul>