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Family learning Services in UK Public Libraries: an Investigation of Current Provision and Ongoing Development

Kirk, W. and McMenemy, D. and Poulter, A. (2004) Family learning Services in UK Public Libraries: an Investigation of Current Provision and Ongoing Development. New Library World, 105 (5/6). pp. 176-183. ISSN 0307-4803

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Abstract

Family learning is now acknowledged by both government and non-government bodies as being an important aspect of lifelong learning. It is of direct relevance to public libraries, yet little information is available about the specific role the public library can play. The main aim of the paper is to investigate the levels and types of current provision in UK public libraries, and to find out what influences the services on offer. In addition, the research tries to establish whether family learning can be of benefit to libraries, and if current provision meets the key recommendations as outlined in recent reports. The majority of library services surveyed offer family learning on a regular basis. Social inclusion, funding and partnership working are key issues, but their influence does vary between library services. Overall library services seem to be making a valuable contribution to family learning, perhaps more so than the literature suggests.