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The New Role of Public Libraries in Local Communities

By Barbara Lison, Natascha Reip, Frank Huysmans and Dan Mount, European Parliament, Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies, Culture and Education, 2016, 138 pages

The report The New Role of Public Libraries in Local Communities, commissioned by the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament, analyses the impact that public libraries can have on the intellectual and cultural development of citizenship in the 21st century. In recent years, public libraries have faced serious difficulties and challenges as a result of social, technical and economic changes. However, they play a key role in the community as they provide an open public space for culture, learning and social communication.

Written by Barbara Lison, Natascha Reip, Frank Huysmans and Dan Mount, the report provides a description of the general challenges, risks and opportunities for public libraries to serve their respective communities and to meet actual and future challenges. The paper also contains a presentation and analysis of international best practice examples from public libraries that have established new and innovative roles in their local communities, thus ensuring their viability for local citizens. Based on the findings, this paper makes conclusions on current developments and brings forward recommendations for policy actions at the EU level.

For more information, please visit: www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/585882/IPOL_STU(2016)585882_EN.pdf