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Laser Foundation Awards presented in 2002


Awards Made: Call for Proposals 2002

  1. To restore the NEWSPLAN London and South East database on the Web
    Lead institution: NEWSPLAN London and South East Implementation Committee
    Award: £10,800 Jointly funded with the British Library

    NEWSPLAN has recorded all collections of local and regional newspaper in libraries and other repositories in the UK and Ireland, noted their state of preservation, and prioritised their transfer to microfilm. This award aimed to restore the NEWSPLAN London and South East database on the Web, create new web pages encouraging user comment, information exchange and feedback concerning NEWSPLAN data, and prepare for future changes to NEWSPLAN.

    Progress reports (September and October 2003) and a final report (August 2004) are available for you to download and view in PDF format

  2. Electronic books in public libraries: a feasibility study for developing usage models for Web-based and hardware-based electronic books
    Lead institution: Loughborough University

    This project considered e-book implementation and usage in Essex libraries over a 12-month period. The project lent portable reading devices and provided access to e-books to a range of library users. Feedback from library staff and users about their experiences with the e-book format was evaluated and the results disseminated.

    A final report (August 2004) and and appendices is available for you to download and view in PDF format.

  3. Implementing the Disability Discrimination Act in Lewisham Library Service
    Lead institution: Lewisham Library Service
    Award: £25,000

    Lewisham Library and Information Service built upon improvements already made to physical access to the borough's libraries and services by installing modern equipment and software for library users with disabilities, and by installing induction loops in nine libraries. Dolphin's "SuperNova" and "Cicero" products were installed as were high resolution flat-screen monitors, wrist-rests, trackerballs and ergonomic keyboards and mice. Staff were given awareness training on the needs of disabled users and training on how the new equipment worked.

    A final report (March 2005) and a press release (March 2005) are available for you to download and view in PDF format.

  4. Implementing the Disability Discrimination Act in Wokingham Libraries and Information Service
    Lead institution: Wokingham Libraries and Information Service
    Award: £15,831

    Wokingham Libraries and Information Service built on and extended their provision of services for library users in line with the Disability Discrimination Act. Library users gained access to a trackball and high-visibility keyboard and text-to-speech software in all libraries, speech to text software at the three largest libraries and additional search indexes on the library catalogue. Wokingham also provided a wheelchair workstation at the three largest libraries and hearing induction loops at all libraries, including the renewal of the existing system at the Central Library (Wokingham).

  5. Implementing the Disability Discrimination Act in Reading Borough Libraries
    Lead institution: Reading Borough Libraries
    Award: £18,309

    Reading Borough Libraries improved services to, and trained staff to interact more effectively with, children with visual, hearing and learning difficulties. This grant allowed for part of the children's library at Reading Central Library to be adapted as a sensory area, with a tactile floor area and giant 'Bubble Wall'. Books (tactile, noisy, smelly, signed, large print, Braille, signed, word free, etc), subtitled videos/DVDs for the deaf, audio described and signed videos, and shelving for these new collections were provided. Two PCs plus chairs and desks will also be installed, with specialist accessories (such as trackerballs, large keys, etc) and software designed to meet the needs of sensory impaired children.

    Reading raised staff awareness and trained several members of staff in the use of sign language. They evaluated the use of the equipment to discover the type of materials which there was a clear need for (and areas where work was needed to improve take up).

    A Final report (November 2004) is available for you to download and view in PDF format.

Awards Made: Other Grants in 2002

  1. The Full Disclosure Implementation Group
    Award: £30,000 over three years towards a full time project officer post

    Full Disclosure is the national strategy for retrospective cataloguing and catalogue conversion in libraries, museums and archives. The Laser Foundation awarded £30,000 over three years towards a full time project officer post.

    The Full Disclosure web pages contain more information about the Full Disclosure initiative.

  2. Overdue: How to Create a Modern Public LIbrary Service
    Lead institution: Charles Leadbeater / DEMOS

    The award which lead to Charlie Leadbeater writing Overdue was made by the Laser Foundation in response to declining issue figures. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport commissioned Leadbeater to help prepare Framework for the Future, the strategy for libraries, published in early 2003, and Overdue builds on the proposals in Framework for the Future by taking them further, making them more specific and fueling further debate.

    As Leadbeater says: Overdue is born out of a commitment to the ideals of public libraries and a frustration at the state they are in.

    The full text of Overdue can be downloaded from the Demos website.

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