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Haringey Council. Public Libraries in England and Wales Key Challenges for the 21 st Century. Diana Edmonds Assistant Director, Culture, Libraries and Learning 23rd May 2011. 1. Getting the Business. Or the customers through the door.

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Haringey Council

Public Libraries in England and Wales

Key Challenges for the 21st Century

Diana Edmonds

Assistant Director, Culture, Libraries and Learning

23rd May 2011


1.Getting the Business

  • Or the customers through the door

Haringey Experience demonstrates that customers are attracted by relevant services

  • Dramatic increase in use levels
  • Wood Green currently has the busiest libraries in London

2. Getting the Money to Provide the Service

  • Money for buildings
  • Money for stock
  • Money for IT
  • Money for staff

Money for Buildings

  • Buildings often in wrong place
  • Poorly maintained
  • Limited capital within the Authority
  • Need to use “other people’s” money to build libraries

In Haringey, we have used funds from:

  • Big Lottery
  • NDC
  • Europe
  • PCT
  • Department of Education (via Connexions)
  • Skills Funding Agency
  • MLA
  • UK On-line
  • And we are constantly looking for more

Money for Stock

  • Usually has to come from the Local Authoritybut
  • Are occasional opportunities to gain external funding
  • But essential to maintain funds to ensure the offer remains attractive to the customer

Stock Purchase and Acquisition needs to be Lean and Mean

  • Don’t believe Price Waterhouse Coopers Report!

Haringey outsources all processing and some selection

  • Buys as low as possible
  • Has minimal staff (1)

Money for IT

  • Big Lottery Fund provided People’s Network funding which forced public libraries into the 20th Century
  • Problem to maintain this provision as need to modernise occurs

Money for IT

  • Also need to introduce newer technologies, specifically RFID, to modernise processes
  • 1 year payback on RFID installations in terms of staff reductions

Money for Staff

  • Major cost in a public library service
  • Normally at least 60%
  • Key area for cost cutting and therefore professionalism debate a real issue
  • At Haringey, labour costs are currently running at 56%

Money for Staff

  • Staff behaviour also a key issue
  • Problem with sickness management
  • Advantageous contracts

Money for Staff

  • Key drive to reduce staff costs
  • RFID increasingly significant

Budget Overview

  • Each year operate the Service with budget minus same


  • Running a public library requires:
  • Customer focus
  • Entrepreneurial skill
  • Courage
And now?

What about the cuts?

The Future

……. Is the future