HC Deb 18 October 1972 vol 843 cc96-7W
Mr. Lomas

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) when she expects to publish guidance from her Department concerning the organisation of publicly financed libraries in the new local authorities so that librarians now endeavouring to plan library services will know what to do;

(2) if she will include in her guidance to libraries under the new local authority arrangements the results of her study of the Library Association's standards for school library resource centres, together with a statement of policy on the benefits of having responsibility for the library and the education services in the same local government tier;

(3) if the policy explained in the White Paper of February, 1971, Command Paper No. 4584, stating that libraries should be associated with education still applies; and if she will make a statement on this matter so that librarians can make the appropriate plans.

Mr. van Straubenzee

The Local Government Bill, like the White Paper, proposes that the local authorities responsible both for education and public library services shall be the same. My right hon. Friend hopes shortly to consult the representative bodies concerned with a view to the issue of guidance to library authorities as soon as possible after the Bill becomes law, on the implications for the public library service, including the steps which they might consider to ensure that full advantage is taken of the possibilities for closer links between their services and education services. Study of the Library Association document in the Department is not yet complete and any action arising from it is for separate consideration.