Laser Foundation Awards presented in 2004
Awards Made: Other Grants in 2004
Libraries Impact Project - Measuring Up
Lead institution: PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC)
Amount of award: £37,900
In the light of the growing need for public libraries to justify their existence by demonstrating hard evidence of their importance to their communities and users, the Laser Foundation commissioned PWC to look into the impact that libraries have in a number of key government policy areas.
The investigation followed the work of seven pilot public libraries across the country and took into account four of the CPA (Comprehensive Performance Assessment) areas set by government. The conclusive findings were that public libraries have a positive impact on cross-cutting priorities and agendas, such as learning, health, social inclusion and community cohesion. The methodologies that the pilot authorities developed can also act as a template for similar impact studies across all authorities and indeed this work went hand-in-hand with the development of the national impact measures element of the DCMS Library Standards.
The final report from PWC was launched and discussed at a very successful public seminar on 4 July 2005 in central London.
A final report and press release (July 2005) are available for you to download in PDF format.
What do you want? A library service for the future
Lead institution: Bolton Metropolitan Borough Libraries
Amount of award: £38,000
This award funded Bolton Libraries' collaboration with Planning for Real to engage hard to reach communities in a bold and imaginative way in the planning of the new High Street Library for one of Bolton's most deprived areas. Bolton Libraries used innovative consultation methods to find out what the community would like to see in the High Street Library of the future. Five local artists used a range of different art forms and techniques to work with the local community to explore what they wanted from a modern library service. Both the process and the outcomes of this work were fascinating and helped the staff significantly in planning a library that will have a really vital role in the local community.
To disseminate the results and how they were achieved, Bolton Libraries and the Laser Foundation organised a public seminar on 26 January 2006 at which a Good Practice Guide and DVD were launched and during which delegates themselves undertook some of the art activities that were used in the consultation. It was a stimulating and eye-opening day for all participants.
Final Report is available in the external links panel.