EGov Monitor | Libraries hold key to growth of the ‘knowledge economy’: report
England’s public libraries are playing a crucial, but often overlooked, role in the growth of the knowledge economy, a new study has found.
The report, ‘Public Libraries in the Knowledge Economy’, commissioned by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), shows libraries play a central role in communities’ economic vitality.
MLA’s Senior Libraries Adviser Andrew Stevens said the report, by The Local Futures Group, makes a strong case for promoting public libraries as economic development partners, particularly in relation to the knowledge economy.
“The challenge is now for local authorities to make the most of that expertise by ensuring they involve their libraries as partners in economic development activities,” Mr Stevens said.
“The report shows that libraries are helping local communities to develop new skills, particularly in hard-to-reach groups and those who may otherwise be left behind in the drive to position the UK as a ‘knowledge economy’,” Mr Stevens said.
Every library authority surveyed by the report’s authors provided learning and skills support in basic skills, family learning and education for young people.