On Tuesday 22 January, Arts Council England and the Local Government Association (LGA) published new research into the different ways in which communities are involved in library service delivery and management:  Community libraries - Learning from experience: guiding principles for local authorities.

The research, carried out in July 2012, provides a snapshot of the various ways in which communities are involved in library provision in England.

Download the research:

Learning from experience: guiding principles for local authories

Learning from experience: summary briefing for local authorities

10 case studies

Changing landscape

This is a rapidly evolving picture. Since the research took place in July 2012, the number of operating community libraries has risen from 178 to 254. In addition, new approaches and models have emerged.

In order to capture these developments, it is anticipated that further research will be commissioned in Spring 2013, updating the picture of the level of community involvement in library service provision, and addressing challenges and opportunities specific to rural communities.

The Arts Council and libraries

This research is one part of the Arts Council's work with libraries. Together with Envisioning the library of the future (published in Spring 2013), the Arts Council's programme of research and debate on what the library of the future could and should look like, this latest research will help to define the Arts Council's long term strategy for libraries.

Arts Council England is working with the library sector to help create libraries which are at the heart of local communities, helping to inspire and empower people to lead active lives enriched by culture. More details on the Arts Council's work with libraries, including the Libraries development initiative, which is a partnership with LGA, can be found here.