§ Mr. Tipping
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list the names and terms of reference of the consultancies he has commissioned to inquire into the operation of library services.
§ 5. Mr. Sproat
Set out is a list of consultancies currently in progress, together with their respective terms of reference:
The Aslib Consultancy.Review of public library service in England and Wales.To assess the scope and value of public library services currently provided by local authorities in England and Wales; to draw up guidelines and a framework for local choice for what should constitute a "comprehensive and efficient service" provided by a modern public library service; to consider the desirability of any 539W changes in the requirements of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964; and to identify key developments requiring national attention.
Broadvision Communications Limited.Evaluation of Library and Information Plans (LIPs).To provide an independent evaluation of the concept and process of Library and Information Plans, their planning, funding, development, implementation and impact on the library and information sector.
Coopers and Lybrand.Review of schools library services.To carry out a review of the schools library service in the light of the growing trend towards the delegation of the funding for the service to schools. The review will examine three sets of issues: resource allocation and delegation; the marketing of the services; and structural and internal management.
Brenda White Associates Limited.Provision of secretariat and support services for the Libraries and Information Services Council (England) working party on library services for children and young people.The Council has established the working party to:
- (i) examine the library needs of children and young people and the extent to which they are being met by existing services and levels of staffing;
- (ii) examine the way in which library services for children and young people are provided through the public library service, school and further education libraries, and the school library service;
- (iii) review recent research and development work into library services for children and young people, and assess its effectiveness and impact on services;
- (iv) examine the effect of external change on the library needs of children and young people and on library services for them;
- (v) recommend improvements, and how to bring them about, in library services for children and young people.
KPMG Peat Marwick in association with Capital Planning Information Limited.Investigation into the scope for contracting out in public libraries. The Department of National Heritage, in conjunction with five pilot projects established by library authorities in England, is examining the scope for contracting out the direct delivery of all or some elements of the public library service. The consultants are assisting by developing the overall framework of the investigation and evaluating the lessons to be learnt from the pilot projects, which remain under the direction of the authorities concerned. After consulting widely on the lessons that emerge from the pilot projects and ensuring that all public library authorities are kept in touch with the exercise, the consultants will prepare a report showing whether all or parts of the public library service can be contracted out; and the advantages and disadvantages of so doing, including best options, costings and potential savings.