Libraries are among the most valued of civic spaces. They have a cross generational appeal that other local authority services can only dream of and are a gateway to information, ranging from public health to adult learning, jobs, volunteering, the police and other cultural services. Against a background of austerity the future of libraries has to be considered as part of the overall council service offer to communities. Libraries are most likely to be viable when they can demonstrate their value to the widest possible group of users.

Another quote from the Independent Library Report, published in December last year by the British Government. This is directly in line with findings in my own research about public libraries, mainly that they ought to be viewed more as community centers if they are to thrive and better serve the public. This theme has been discussed by many library scholars, as highlighted in the literature review section of my thesis. This section of my research examines literature that explores the various roles performed by the public library, specifically as education provider and as community center. I include an examination of the history and development of adult education programming within libraries, the concept of “lifelong learning” and how it has been applied to library science, and the relationship between the public library and community. I examine the public library-community relationship through the lenses of funding and the degree of collaboration between the public library and community agents. Finally, I make suggestions for future research that could be carried out on this topic. Here’s a link to a pdf of my literature review: Libraries literature review