05/07/2001

MINISTER ANNOUNCES MAJOR REVIEW OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES

THE Department of Culture is set to undertake a major review of Northern Ireland’s Library Service facilities.

Announcing the review, ‘Tomorrow’s Libraries', Mr McGimpsey, Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister, said: “For over a century, our public libraries have provided an invaluable education and information service for the entire community. However, the needs of society are changing rapidly, particularly with the arrival of the Information Age, and I share the determination of all those who work in libraries that we must respond to those challenges.

“Tomorrow’s Libraries’ will culminate in an action plan which aims to keep them at the forefront of what is an essential service and I would encourage everyone to take this opportunity to help shape our libraries of the future.”

The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Education and Library Boards will drive the ‘Tomorrow’s Libraries’ exercise.

The review will include surveys of public library service staff, library users and the general public who are invited to give their views on the current service and to suggest improvements for the future.

It is expected that the review will be completed by the end of this year.

(AMcE)

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