Libraries & Lifelong Learning Milton Keynes Council

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Libraries & Lifelong Learning



Milton Keynes Council



www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/libraries_services

www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/adulteducation

Wellbeing through libraries and lifelong learning strategy 2010 - 2015



Contents


A vision for Milton Keynes


  1. Introduction

1.1 Some definitions

1.2 What a strategy will achieve

1.3 Scope of the strategy

1.4 Links to other strategies


2. Local and national drivers for the strategy

2.1 National policy development

2.1 Local context


  1. How services currently support local community needs in Milton Keynes and elsewhere




  1. Plans to deliver the strategy


Appendices

  1. Public Library Service Library Plan

  2. Adult Learning Plan

  3. ESOL Plan

  4. Key policy documents

  5. How services meet community priorities





A vision for Milton Keynes
The Milton Keynes Sustainable Community Strategy says:

Our vision is to create a city that has soul, energy and dynamism.

Our towns, villages, neighbourhoods and spaces will be desirable, fun, affordable, safe and accessible. It will be a learning city, built and developed by a skilled and well-educated population. People will thrive financially and emotionally…’
If we want Milton Keynes to be a place in which every individual and all sections of this exciting community to thrive and grow we need to make sure that we have people who are confident and able to contribute to their communities; and we need services that will help to support that by providing information, learning and access to the rich culture that the country and community offer.
Our vision is that, as a community, we will work together to provide services that will inspire, support and inform people so that they will be happier, healthier and able to contribute to the borough’s success and growth. In other words we will support the wellbeing of the community and individuals through our services.
1. Introduction
1.1 Some definitions
The Oxford English Dictionary defines wellbeing as the state of being or doing well in life, happy, healthy or prosperous condition.
Wellbeing is used in this strategy in exactly that way. The OED definition captures very succinctly the reasons for the existence of libraries and publicly funded adult learning: to help individuals to do well in life and to be happy, healthy and prosperous. For the community of Milton Keynes and for the council and other organisations that provide essential public services for it, wellbeing is an important goal that is captured in the Sustainable Community Strategy.

Wellbeing has been defined and studied by many different bodies, and some of those help to identify why it is important and why we should have a strategy linked to it, since it is clear that whatever the measure of wellbeing, public services have a responsibility to identify and support those who are not thriving as well as to deliver universal services to those that are.


1. The Wellbeing Institute, University of Cambridge, (http://www.cambridgewellbeing.org):


‘Well-being refers to positive and sustainable characteristics which enable individuals and organisations to thrive and flourish…

Governments and policy makers have tended to focus on economic indicators of success, but there is a growing realisation that economic growth and consumption have little bearing on how citizens perceive the quality of their lives.’


2. nef (the new economics foundation) is an independent think-and-do tank concerned with economic well-being (http://www.neweconomics.org)
‘Well-being is one of most important aspect of our lives, as individuals and as societies. But despite unprecedented economic prosperity in the last 35 years we do not necessarily feel better individually or as communities….
81% of Britons believe that the Government should prioritise creating the greatest happiness, not the greatest wealth….
In 2008, nef was commissioned by the UK Government’s Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Well-being to review the inter-disciplinary work of over 400 scientists from across the world. The aim was to identify actions to improve well-being. They identified five key ways of doing so:


  • Connect Connect with the people around you…Social relationships are critical to our well-being.

  • Be active Exercising makes you feel good.

  • Take notice Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling.

  • Keep learning Learning encourages social interaction and increases self-esteem and feelings of competency.
  • Give Individuals actively engaged in their communities report higher well-being and their help and gestures have knock-on effects for others.




The common perception of a library is that it is a place in which literary and other materials, such as books, periodicals, and newspapers are kept for reading or for lending. That is part but not all of what libraries are. Libraries now exist in many places and guises. They are no longer simply a collection of written documents, but include audio visual and virtual materials, and provide access to a huge amount of other material by providing access to the internet. Many services can be accessed virtually via the internet, but the fact that they do have a physical presence with trained, experienced and trusted staff remains a key part of what makes them very important to people. They offer access to facilities and resources that support a wide range of learning, information and cultural material to support the wellbeing of the community. They also provide an important public space that can provide a base for two way communication between services and community members.


Libraries are provided by all sorts of learning institutions to support education, but also by companies, third sector bodies and by local councils. Local authorities such as Milton Keynes Council have a statutory duty to provide a ‘comprehensive and efficient’ public library service open to the whole community. The duty is governed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports.


Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS),

‘For many people, libraries are a haven of hope, a gateway to knowledge and learning, and an opportunity to access information and to participate as a citizen. With more branches than McDonalds or Boots, and more visits to libraries than shoppers in London’s West End, the public library network is a triumph of infrastructure and branding. Our libraries are the keepers of a national book collection which reflects our shared learning and chronicles our intellectual and cultural environment ‘

DCMS, The Modernisation Review of Public Libraries: A Policy Statement, 2010


There are a number of ways of defining lifelong learning. At its broadest this means any formal and informal learning that people take part in at any time in life to improve their wellbeing. This includes learning that takes place in schools, colleges and universities as well as in other more informal community settings, such as libraries, and at home. However in this strategy it is used to refer to all the learning, throughout life that is not part of statutory education for children or the formal skills training for young people and adults. Sometimes this is referred to as informal adult learning. There are other strategies to address adult skills and children and young people’s learning, each focusing on a different but related outcome.


Lifelong learning in this context is frequently part time, may be informal, often leads to predetermined skills or qualifications but not necessarily, and is sometimes not even recognised by the learner as learning initially. There are many reasons that people learn, apart from work reasons, and lifelong learning reflects this diversity.
There are intentional overlaps between this lifelong learning and the more formal schooling and skills training as the links between different forms of learning are extremely important, are interlinked, and many organisations are involved in delivering more than one sort of learning.
Many organisations have identified the value and importance of lifelong learning in developing wellbeing, including nef above and NIACE, the national adult learning organisation.


NIACE, Learning through Life, Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning, 2009

‘ ‘It’s not a matter of learning a new skill and moving on,’ she explained to me. ‘It keeps me going. The challenges are fresh every day, whether you are 19 or 95.’ Adults use learning for very different reasons – as a step to secure or change work, but also to sustain and improve their quality of life.‘ Alan Tuckett, in the Introduction.


People use the terms ‘strategy’, ‘plan’ and similar words to mean different things. In this document strategy is used to mean an overarching framework for more detailed plans. Plans include shorter term and more concrete goals. The strategy provides a longer term vision and link to other strategies. This strategy has been produced to make sure that there is some coherence across a complex area of work, with various statutory and other responsibilities that are very important for this community.


In summary, library and lifelong learning services support individuals and local communities to increase and maintain wellbeing, and Milton Keynes Council and others have a number of responsibilities to ensure these are delivered efficiently. This strategy is designed to make sure that this is delivered coherently.
1.2 What a strategy will achieve
The aim of this strategy is to increase wellbeing in Milton Keynes. We will achieve this by setting a vision, direction, focus and strategic framework for delivering library and lifelong learning services and by creating measurable and achievable plans linked to the strategy. We will also make sure that the strategy is linked to the community’s priorities and to other strategies.
The strategy seeks to achieve the following objectives to support the Sustainable Community Strategy outcomes:


  1. Improve access to learning and library services so that local people can fully engage in education, employment, and community activities

  2. Create a modern, sustainable, cost effective and innovative model for the delivery and development of the public library service and lifelong learning, which responds to the community’s needs
  3. Provide progression routes for people to other learning and cultural activities


  4. Promote the value of learning and the enjoyment of culture

These objectives will be delivered through three more detailed plans:


  • Library Plan, to support Milton Keynes Council’s public library service statutory responsibilities

  • Adult Learning Plan, to provide a coherent offer of informal adult learning

  • ESOL Plan, to ensure there is a coherent plan for people to learn English as a Second Language

The plans are designed to provide clear and deliverable plans about how to meet the objectives listed in section 1.2 above.


1.3 Scope of the strategy
This strategy has been initiated by Milton Keynes Council and provides a framework for the public library service and adult continuing education services run by the council. However, it also provides the context for other services that deliver or contribute to lifelong learning and library services and wish to promote wellbeing, including:


  • Schools and early years settings

  • Milton Keynes College

  • University Centre Milton Keynes, and the partner higher education providers in Milton Keynes

  • Other learning and training providers including voluntary sector

  • Other libraries which operate locally such as the Spinal Injuries Association, the Well at Willen

  • Partnership groups that promote learning or work together to make provision, such as Milton Keynes Economy and Learning partnership and Milton Keynes Learning Cities Library Network

The strategy shows the links across other services and strategies that promote the wellbeing of targeted groups, such as the youth service, adult social care providers, and third sector groups.

1.4 Links to other strategies

This strategy fits alongside others that contribute to borough-wide strategies agreed by the Milton Keynes Local Strategic Partnership and illustrated by the following diagram.

The six boxes at the bottom of the triangle represent the six key themes, each with a thematic partnership to lead it. Each of these themes has a clear outcome outlined below, and for each of the outcomes there are a number of detailed objectives that the council and partners are committed to achieving.


Libraries and lifelong learning provision can contribute directly to all of these outcomes in a variety of ways, but there are four which are particularly relevant, and these are highlighted.


Children and Young People

Community Safety

Health and Wellbeing

Community Belonging

Transport

Economic Prosperity

Improve educational attainment and safeguard children

Create an environment in which we all feel safe

Improve health and ensure a high quality of life for all aspects of the community

Encourage all sections of our community to get along well together and to make a positive contribution

Develop sustainable transport solutions

Develop an economy with a sustainable and long-term future

In addition to supporting the Sustainable Community Strategy, this strategy sits alongside and contributes to others. Most directly:


  • It is one of a suite of cultural strategies, including the Heritage Strategy and Arts Strategy, sharing the aim of encouraging sections of the community to get along well together and make a positive contribution

  • It sits alongside the Adult Skills Strategy, the 14-19 Strategy and the Children and Young People’s Plan to address the learning needs of the population across different age groups. It shares common aims with the Skills Strategy in promoting a culture of learning and in delivering learning that will lead to economic prosperity. It shares the common aim of achieving improved educational attainment for children and young people with the other two strategy documents.

  • It contributes to, and complements, other community wellbeing strategies developed by the council with various partnerships: “My life, my choice”; Housing; Safer MK; Health inequalities, and shares the common aim with these in improving the health and ensuring a high quality of life for all aspects of the community.

These strategies quite rightly overlap in terms of their objectives, target groups and how the services will deliver the outcomes. This is not only inevitable as they have all been agreed at different times, but is also desirable because they have differing drivers and beneficiaries. However, they all contribute to the overall wellbeing and development of the borough outlined in the Sustainable Community Strategy.


2. Local and national drivers for the strategy


    1. National policy development

There have been a number of recent government policies and those related specifically to libraries and lifelong learning are listed below with some key concepts identified alongside implications for services in Milton Keynes. While many of the national policies are likely to change over time many of the issues will remain as a result of the demographic and technological changes in society.

Key policies recently produced include:


  • The Modernisation Review of Public Libraries: A Policy Statement, DCMS, March 2010

  • A local Inquiry into the Public Library Service Provided by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, DCMS, September 2009

  • What makes a Good Library Service? Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), October 2009

  • The Learning Revolution: Informal Adult Learning White Paper, DIUS (now Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, BIS) March 2009

  • Implementing the New Approach to ESOL, BIS, September 2009

  • Learning Through Life, Inquiry into the Future of Lifelong Learning, NIACE, September 2009

More details about these and their implications for Milton Keynes are included in Appendix 4.

These documents reflect other polices and key changes in the UK in the short and medium term: social policy related to an ageing population with increasing care needs making demands on the public purse at a time when there is increasing need to have a well educated workforce to meet international economic demands. This has led to questions about who should fund learning after statutory education, and whether individuals or employers should contribute more to learning. The same demands have put pressures on all public budgets requiring those services that are not delivering ‘life or death’ services to be able to demonstrate their value to individuals and communities, and to demonstrate good value for money.

In addition, the economic recession has put increasing pressure on communities and public services. There is also an ongoing need to continuously maintain people’s skills in a changing world will remain a focus for any skills strategy.

There have also been a number of changes in the way public and/or community based services are delivered generally, each of which provides challenges and choices:


  • A growing recognition of the importance of ensuring there is equality of opportunity in delivering services, and that publicly funded services promote equality and reach out to the most disadvantaged members of society

  • Increases in digital access to services, which both libraries and learning have a role in using and in supporting individuals to understand. This provides an opportunity for diversity of delivery so long as services also recognise the value that people place on face to face communication as well.

  • Maintaining a balance between providing a physical base for services, albeit shared with other services, and reaching out to people in their own homes and communities

  • Demonstrating the effectiveness of services by being clear about how services contribute to a community and measuring what is achieved in an appropriate way.

    1. Local context

Milton Keynes is an exciting borough that is changing fast in a number of ways. Key factors that have an impact on the wellbeing of the borough and the implications for libraries and lifelong learning in Milton Keynes are:

Key characteristics and link to

Implications for libraries and lifelong learning in Milton Keynes

Population growth and mobility

  • Plan for future growth and potential changes to patterns of use

  • Make sure that library and learning activities reflect the rich culture of the past and present

Increased unemployment rate, though this may not be a long term feature, in 2009, unemployment rates reached a higher level than in the southeast or nationally for the first time. Younger people under 30 were significantly affected.


  • Make sure that there are learning opportunities and information about them to meet needs as they change

  • Provide flexible library provision to serve families affected by unemployment, building on existing core activities and working with partners.

Relatively youthful but ageing population. Predictions are that this trend will continue, changing the focus of community needs.

  • Make sure that there are learning opportunities and information about them to meet changing needs

  • Deliver library services that meet the whole population age range, recognising that older people can contribute as well as require services

Growing black minority ethnic (BME) population, with a particular focus on families with children, with early years settings have significantly higher proportions of BME children and than secondary schools. This has a particular relevance for ESOL needs.

  • Ensure ESOL Plan takes account of changing profile

  • Develop family learning links between libraries and learning and reflecting black and minority ethnic profile

  • Build on existing links with black and minority ethnic communities for library and learning activities, exhibitions and materials

Low but slowly increasing levels of educational attainments demonstrating an ongoing need to provide opportunities for adults to learn and gain skills.

  • Use ACE and partners to encourage increasing skills linked to the Milton Keynes Skills Strategy
  • Build on existing partnership activities and links with learning providers to address adult skills


  • Build on links between libraries to support attainment

Significant variation in the affluence and health of the borough with the population in some areas requiring significant need for support. One illustration of the variation of affluence is in who has access to IT and the internet.

  • Use national funding, linked to college and skills strategy funding to address least affluent areas

  • Use library service mapping to identify where different approaches to access are required

  • Ensure that libraries and lifelong learning providers work together to address the Information Technology divide

  • Investigate much closer links between libraries, learning and health agencies to support the health agenda

Services in Milton Keynes are already addressing these issues through practical work outlined in plans, for example by planning facilities and services for growth, regenerating chosen areas of the borough, delivering Social Care Reform. They are doing this taking account of the best practice: for example integrating and co-locating services and ensuring there is community engagement and good customer care. This strategy is part of that process of improving services and ensuring the best use of resources across different providers, by building on existing practice here and elsewhere.


3. How services currently support local community needs
In Milton Keynes, libraries and lifelong learning contribute to the well-being of individuals and the community in many ways. The following boxes summarise key aspects of the Milton Keynes Council’s contribution.


The nine public libraries are spread across the borough and:



  • 97% of the population live within 2 miles of a library providing books, audio visual and other resources, access to the internet and other digital services, and support from staff.

  • 54% of the population are members of the service, 49% say they have used a library in the last year, and 19% having borrowed an item in the last year, around the national average.

  • The Central Library is the third busiest library in England, and is highly regarded by customers in surveys.



Milton Keynes Council’s Adult Continuing Education service:


  • serves about 4.7% of the adult population a year

  • offers 1,000 courses a year in about 50 venues across the borough

  • had 11% of the 6,000 learners in 2008/9 studying English as a Second Language, and about 10% are engaged in family learning

Other providers make a considerable contribution as well. The largest is Milton Keynes College which currently has over 33,500 enrolments with over 3,000 16-18 year old students, over 2,000 ESOL learners and over 6,500 employer-sponsored enrolments per year. Other, mostly third sector providers, support many other adults and families, and many of these organisations are connected to ACE and the college through funding agreements, and/or via the PCDL Partnership (Personal and Community Learning Partnership), which is led by the council and linked to Milton Keynes Economy and Learning Partnership.

Members of Personal and Community Learning Partnership in 2010/11 include:



  • MK Primary Care Trust

  • Milton Keynes Play Association

  • MK Women & Work Group

  • MK Council (Library Service, Music Service, Arts, Heritage, Joint Commissioning)

  • Climb Your Mountain

  • MK Council for Voluntary Organisations

  • Macintyre Care

  • Shelter

  • Milton Keynes Economy & Learning Partnership

  • Living Archive

  • The Parks Trust

  • MK College

  • Next Step

  • Milton Keynes Gallery

The way that these services contribute to the wellbeing and community priorities is outlined in Appendix 5.


The services can provide many examples of successful practice. Milton Keynes providers can also learn from examples in other parts of the country and in other countries, and services in Milton Keynes will also provide practice that others will follow. 1
The following provides examples that might influence detailed plans.

One library service handed over a separate space within to its young people and boosted library use among young people, by encouraging them to participate in planning and development. It also met the local authority’s agenda on ‘Positive Activities for Young People’.

Another has opened several multi access centres within libraries as part of their commitment to place shaping, recognising the role of libraries at the heart of communities.

Partnership was used to deliver an outreach project in one authority. A series of road shows were delivered directly to the community through the mobile library vehicles. As well as offering free blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol checks in partnership with two pharmacies, and a wide range of public services also delivered information to the community.

In one authority the adult education service is part funded by the PCT which has recognised that learning has improved the health of patients.


In another area the health authorities calculated it cost over £30k each time an old person had a fall. They gave the local authority less than that to teach older people to make a video about preventing falls and share it with others. This cut the incidence of falls significantly.

One Council has identified priority neighbourhoods and an indication of learner language needs through their ESOL planning discussions and have produced a comprehensive plan for the city.




4. Plans to deliver the strategy
This strategy provides the framework for more detailed work to develop and improve services that support the changing needs of this borough. By drawing together the contextual information, the existing service delivery and feedback from interested individuals and groups we will be better able to develop services together that will achieve the objectives listed earlier in this document, that is:

  1. Improve access to learning and library services so that local people can fully engage in education, employment, and community activities

  2. Create a modern, sustainable, cost effective and innovative model for the delivery and development of the public library service and lifelong learning, which responds to the community’s needs

  3. Provide progression routes for people to other learning and cultural activities

  4. Promote the value of learning and the enjoyment of culture

This more detailed work is identified in the three plans:

1 A Library Plan Public Library Service

2 An Adult Learning Plan

3 An ESOL Plan


Appendix 1

Public Library Service Library Plan

This is attached as a separate document and provides the short term objectives agreed between Milton Keynes Council, stakeholders and partners who have evidence of need in the community.



Appendix 2
Adult Learning Plan
This is attached as a separate document and provides short term objectives agreed between Milton Keynes Council and delivery partners, with input from funding agencies and other partners who have evidence of need in the community.

Appendix 3
ESOL Plan
This is attached as a separate document and provides the short term objectives agreed between Milton Keynes Council and delivery partners, with input from funding agencies and other partners who have evidence of need in the community.

Appendix 4



Key Policy documents


Document

Key issues

Implications for MK

The Modernisation Review of Public Libraries: A Policy Statement, DCMS, March 2010

This policy document summarised current issues facing public libraries as well as noting their contribution to communities. It made specific demands on local authorities to assess local needs and ensure that services were meeting those needs

Recognition of role of libraries in local communities but the need to review provision in light of local needs and legal duties and publicise results.


Library Plan will provide basis of this review


A local Inquiry into the Public Library Service Provided by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, DCMS, September 2009


The inquiry found that the council’s decision to restructure its library service to be in breach of its statutory duties under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, to provide ‘comprehensive and efficient public library services for all persons desirous to make use thereof’. The primary reason was the failure to make an assessment of local needs.

Importance of:

  • statutory duty being fulfilled

  • assessment of local needs as the basis for decisions

  • strategic planning

  • outreach and coverage of all groups and communities

  • consultation

Manifesto for Public Libraries Society of Chief Lirbarians, 2010

Outlines the core purposes of public libraries

Check out the balance of activity locally against the purposes outlined nationally.

What makes a Good Library Service? Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), October 2009

Provides a brief overview of key issues based on the legal obligations, emphasising the importance of good planning

Be aware of 10 questions that provide a self assessment of whether the library service is good, including the need for a strategy.


The Learning Revolution: Informal Adult Learning White Paper, DIUS (now Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, BIS) March 2009


White Paper acknowledging the importance of informal adult learning and the contributions made through different departments and disciplines, and calling for an increase in opportunities, though various initiatives to provide ‘allow the informal adult learning revolution to blossom.’
In February 2010, the funding body issued a letter to local authorities inviting them to become the Lead Accountable Body (LAB).

Need to build on local partnerships and show leadership to take forward the role of Lead Accountable Body, to support increased co-ordination and efficient use of resources.
Adult Learning Plan will capture this.


Learning Through Life, Inquiry into the Future of Lifelong Learning, NIACE, September 2009


The report outlines the outcomes of an independent inquiry and offers a vision of radical reform including:

  • Rebalancing current funding

  • Entitlements to learn across four stages of life

  • More flexible systems of learning.

  • A new relationship between central and local government

Await opportunities that arise. As this was not a government document, the implications will depend on government interest, but the ideas and background papers make valuable reading as they demonstrate the importance of learning to communities and wellbeing.

Implementing the New Approach to ESOL, BIS, September 2009

Sets out how the government intends to work with local authorities, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and others to ensure that ESOL plays a more effective role in supporting community cohesion, localising the way ESOL budgets and support services are allocated.


Need to work with partners to identify priority for ESOL funding and to align ESOL with other local priorities and services, and embed ESOL needs within other plans.
ESOL Plan will capture these plans

Appendix 5



How services meet community priorities

The following table demonstrates the links and offers some practical examples. They are not designed to be comprehensive but to illustrate the current contribution to those outcomes that have been chosen as important to Milton Keynes, and they are therefore linked to the 6 themes from the Sustainable Community Strategy. The illustrations below also highlight how this might link to future developments, outlined in the three plans that are connected to the strategy.




Objective

Specific output and example

Linked to Plan for future action

Improve educational attainment and safeguard children

Enjoy and Achieve

The council’s (public) library service provides a wide range of resources, IT services and specialist staff to support children develop a love of reading and learning. The service co-ordinates Bookstart and linked government initiatives to gift books to every child from birth. The service encourages children to maintain the reading habit through holidays by running projects such as the summer reading challenge, which has increasing participation year on year. There are strong links with children’s services, health teams and third sector children’s organisations, and the service delivers traded support to schools. In 2009, the service held two events aimed at teenagers for the first time, as this was a group that is under-represented in libraries: a quiz and a Manga evening. Both were very well attended and will be repeated and usage by young people monitored.

MKC’s Adult Continuing Education Service (ACE) delivers a range of parenting, and family learning classes targeted at families in areas with the highest evidence of need. The services works closely with Children’s Services and other partners. In 2008/09 nearly 600 learners were involved in family learning through ACE.
Lifelong learning and library officers are working with children’s service, public and third sector organisations to support a reading strategy. In 2008, the National Year of Reading, the service increased new members and held a number of activities linked to the MK Reads Together and formed strong links with new partners through the work.


Library Plan:

Library service as



  • A place to be for individuals and groups

  • supporting learning

Adult Learning Plan:


ESOL Plan:



  • supporting the whole family






Achieving economic well being

The public library service provides information on opportunities for further learning and job-seeking. It provides space and support for young people to study. The service also provides space for Connexions to deliver support to individuals as libraries offer an informal open, accessible environment.

All library services linked to local schools, colleges and universities are linked through MKLCLN so that common services available to those studying at any educational establishment. MKLCLN also provides local networking and staff development to ensure the resources are understood by staff.

Schools, MK College, ACE and local training providers deliver educational programmes for 16-18 year olds so that there is a comprehensive1 range of opportunities, co-ordinated through the 14-19 strategy and Children and Young People’s Plan. In addition ACE provides more informal, part time opportunities for anyone over 16 to develop skills. This includes ESOL.


Library Plan:

Library service as



  • A place to be for individuals and groups

  • supporting learning through reading

Adult Learning Plan:



  • direct delivery

  • co-ordination among partners

ESOL plan

Ensuring:


  • achievement opportunities for people of all ages

Create an environment in which we all feel safe

The public library service provides events and displays, either delivered by the service or through community partners that provides an insight in to local groups, their cultures and cultural activities to widen public understanding. They provide an opportunity for other services to connect, with the local community. In 2009 the service delivered a day of Living Libraries in which over 40 people from different backgrounds could be ‘borrowed’ to talk about themselves. Two groups form India have gifted books in their language to the library service to be held for members of their community to access. These groups have also held displays and events at the library to showcase their cultures.

ACE, and Milton Keynes College deliver ESOL classes to a wide range of adults, and by teaching parents supports the increasing numbers of children whose first language is not English to feel safe and thrive in school.


Library Plan:

Library service as


ESOL plan

Ensuring:


  • achievement opportunities for people of all ages

Improve health and ensure a high quality of life for all aspects of the community

Improved health and emotional well being, and improved quality of life
The public library service provides books and other materials, as well as free access to particular websites that provide specific information about health and emotional wellbeing. In addition the service provides a wide range of activities, information about community events and services and general resources that help people to Connect, Be active, Take notice, Keep learning and Give (the 5 ways to wellbeing described above)
ACE, Milton Keynes College and many third sector organisations deliver a wide range of informal learning opportunities that support wellbeing and quality of life. This includes ESOL and other skills for life classes.

Library Plan:

Library service as



  • A place to be for individuals and groups

  • supporting learning through reading

  • Delivering access to all aspects of our culture

Adult Learning Plan:



  • direct delivery

  • co-ordination among partners



Economic wellbeing for adults

The public library service provides information on opportunities for training and employment. It provides space and support for adults to study and IT for those seeking jobs as well as services for small businesses and enterprises. The service also provides space for Next Step to deliver guidance to individuals as libraries offer an informal open, accessible environment. The library service has worked with the Jobcentre to provide free access to IT for those who have a signed letter from the Jobcentre to say they are seeking work.

All library services linked to colleges and universities are linked through MKLCLN so that common services available to those studying at any educational establishment. MKLCLN also provides local networking and staff development to ensure the resources are understood by staff.
ACE, Milton Keynes College and training organisations deliver a wide range of learning opportunities linked to skills. This includes ESOL and other skills for life classes as well as courses leading to qualifications, and those linked to specific employers’ needs. The Skills Strategy provides more detail. In addition the many informal learning opportunities available support the wider employability skills including self confidence, even if they are not directly linked to jobs.


Library Plan:

Library service as



  • A place to be for individuals and groups

  • Supporting learning through reading

  • Delivering access to all aspects of our culture

  • Providing access to information and other services

Adult Learning Plan:



  • Direct delivery

  • Co-ordination among partners

Encourage all sections of our community to get along well together and to make a positive contribution

Building strong cohesive communities

Making a positive contribution

Maintaining personal respect and dignity

The public library service provides events and displays, either delivered by the service or through community partners that provides an insight in to local groups, their cultures and cultural activities to widen public understanding. The service also delivers activities that encourage people to have a sense of belonging through involvement. By providing information about local services and how to access them, including the COIN database and leaflets about local services, they encourage people to access services to maintain the respect and dignity. Using volunteers in the service to deliver a Home Library Service to vulnerable people not only provides them with an opportunity to make a very positive contribution but also maintains the dignity of the recipients. Partners, including the police service and CAB use the libraries to deliver services as they provide safe and trusted places in the community.

ACE, Milton Keynes College and training organisations and third sector organisations deliver a wide range of learning opportunities, including ESOL, which provides disadvantaged people with skills training so that they build the skills to confidently contribute to the community. They also deliver more informal learning that supports these priority outcomes.


Library Plan:

Library service as



  • A place to be for individuals and groups

  • Supporting learning through reading

  • Providing access to information and other services

Adult Learning Plan:



  • direct delivery

  • co-ordination among partners

ESOL plan

Ensuring:


  • achievement opportunities for people of all ages

Develop sustainable transport solutions

The public library service provides guidance on transport links in Milton Keynes, and access to information to about them by providing access to the internet

Library Plan:

Library service as



  • Providing access to information and other services




Develop an economy with a sustainable and long-term future

Increase Milton Keynes economic prosperity

Increased skills and employment opportunities
The public library service provides information on opportunities for learning. It provides space and support for adults to study. The service also provides space for Next Step to deliver support to individuals as libraries offer an informal open, accessible environment.

All library services linked to local schools, colleges and universities are linked through MKLCLN so that common services available to those studying at any educational establishment. MKLCLN also provides local networking and staff development to ensure the resources are understood by staff.

Schools, MK College, ACE and local training providers deliver educational programmes for 16-18 year olds so that there is a comprehensive range of opportunities, co-ordinated through the 14-19 strategy and Children and Young People’s Plan. In addition ACE provides more informal, part time opportunities for anyone over 16 to develop skills. This includes ESOL.


Library Plan:

Library service as



  • supporting learning through reading

  • Providing access to information and other services











Available in audio, large print, Braille and other languages

Tel 01908 254204

Milton Keynes Council

Civic Offices

1Saxon Gate East

Central Milton Keynes



MK9 3EJ

T 01908 254204

F 01908 254089

E sue.williams@milton-keynes.gov.uk

W www.milton-keynes.gov.uk


www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/libraries_services

www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/adulteducation


 ‘The library is lovely; the staff are polite, friendly and very knowledgeable. There isn't enough thanks given to public service; well done you're doing grand.” Response to library service survey

It’s a good place to visit, and great having a neighbourhood branch-please keep it going” Response to library survey



When I first came to Milton Keynes I joined an ESOL course because my English was quite bad. Then I took beginners’ IT courses. This gave me the confidence to do Level 2 at college.” ACE Learners’ Forum member

It feels like a refuge from the world” vox pop from library customer


I come and get these cassette story tapes for my wife, as she can't hold the books any more” vox pop from library customer


I use it for research, especially reference books. The whole family uses it. My children read books like they're going out of fashion” vox pop from library customer


 ‘Our library has shown, by its programme for adults and children, some in partnership with the Friends group, how attractive it is as a good local meeting place. Staff and volunteers work harmoniously together…’ Response to consultation from Friends of Stony Stratford Library

"I improved my reading, writing and speaking. Everything. I love it!” Feedback from ACE ESOL student, 2009

I have an ill husband which is very stressful. Coming away to paint and not have to think about it is good from a health point of view.” Learner responding to ACE peer review research


The computer has revolutionised my life.” Older learner responding to an IT course

 “I did English, Maths and Confidence Building before, then Biology. The courses built my confidence immensely. I know now that if I don’t know something it doesn’t mean I’m stupid.” Learner responding to ACE peer review research


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“Computers and resources that people don’t have at home! Great stuff.” From graffiti wall in library


 “Wonderful, indispensable. A lifetime of pleasure. A mine of information. A source of practical help.” From graffiti wall in library


 “The tutor is really patient and the shortness of the course makes me want to do something else after it… This course gives me an incentive, builds my confidence and gets me out of the house!” ACE learner

“My husband went to school and college, but being Asian, when I first came to England my father did not believe in sending girls to school and said it was of no use to me… I am proud that what I once did not know I now know.” ESOL ACE learner

 “What’s been good about doing the art is that it’s something new for both of us. They do say that learning new things, ‘keeps you going’. I think that’s right. Learning opens up new horizons.” Learner responding to ACE peer review research

This course and what it represents is what I need in my life. Not just to keep myself busy but to also know I am not alone and that there is much to look forward to.’ ACE learner


 ‘As a family, we all use the library and we’d be lost without it.’




’Brilliant course! Well Delivered! Gave me an excellent insight into understanding my depression and how I can work to keep it at bay.’ ACE learner

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 ‘Your Local Studies Centre saved, in my case, the cost of anti-depression medication and probably stays in hospital. It also turned my life around so I can’t thank you enough.’ From letter to library service in 2009




When my MS forced me to give up work I thought, OK, that part of my life is over, it’s time to do something new. I picked watercolour because it is the hardest medium.” ACE learner



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