Arts Council England: Great Art & Culture For Everyone Report (Revised)

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Arts Council England: Great Art & Culture For Everyone Report (Revised)

Arts Council England have revised their strategic aims report for the arts, museums and libraries sectors.

Here are a handful of quotes from it focusing on libraries:

Envisioning the library of the future told us that the public appreciates libraries as trusted spaces, open to all, in which we can explore reading, share information, and deepen our knowledge of the world. We will make the case that libraries contribute to the cultural, social and economic objectives of both national and local government. We will work with those who represent library services and with key library stakeholders to shape the strategic direction of the sector. (p.15)

Although there has been a decrease in the number of people borrowing books, evidence shows that where there has been strategic investment in libraries – such as in promoting children’s reading – visits rise. Patterns of use are also changing, with a significant increase in public use of digital services, and libraries are evolving in response. (p.23)

With our new strategic development responsibilities for museums and libraries, we will encourage and support work across our entire cultural footprint that reflect these types of collaboration, drawing on the best practice in each area and beyond. We know that when these connections are made, they can spark a dynamic that changes our perceptions of what great art and culture is, who it is for, and what it can do. (p.27)

The world is changing as it becomes increasingly interconnected. Boundaries and categories are being eroded; this is apparent in arts and culture where the roles of creator, curator and consumer are being redefined, where libraries are often exhibition spaces and museums host performances. We recognise that the change driven by new digital technologies provides both opportunities and threats. The way that people experience arts and culture is changing; and so too is the type of arts and culture they enjoy. (p.27)

We believe that increasing the number of people who experience and contribute to the arts, to museums and to libraries is good for society. Sharing cultural experiences brings communities together… (p.28)

At the heart of our arts and cultural sector is the workforce: the artists and curators, librarians and technicians, producers and administrators and educators and archivists. It will be a priority over the next decade to support these people to maintain and develop the skills they will need to achieve our shared mission. To an important degree, this is about recognising and respecting the hard-earned specialist skills that are essential to so much the cultural sector does. (p.33)

The organisations that make the strongest contribution to our goals are well-led, and have leaders who understand their role in the communities in which they operate. More needs to be done to strengthen the skills and the diversity of governance and leadership of arts organisations. (p.34)

The arts, museums and libraries fuel children’s curiosity and critical capacity. They are about expression and imaginative escape as much as they are about learning and development, helping children and young people to explore, understand and challenge the world, as well as their place in it. (p.35)