Government announces new initiative to assess English libraries performance


Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, has announced that his Department will be commissioning the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy to produce detailed reports of library services across England.

Using CIPFA’s comparative profile reports, local authorities will be able to compare library services with similar authorities around the country. It allows them to establish how well they are performing as an organisation, where they can improve and how they should be performing.

The profile reports are also a tool for the sharing of best practice and innovative ideas for service delivery. The benchmarking services that CIPFA offer cover a wide range of local authority services, not just libraries.

Julian Mund, Markets and Product Development Director at CIPFA, commented,

“Our popular benchmarking reports cover a wide range of services, allowing authorities to see how they stack up against their peers.

“The Government’s recognition of the service is welcomed and we look forward to working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to ensure that England’s libraries deliver the best service possible.”

Ed Vaizey commented,

“I have decided to fund reports for all library authorities in England for the year 2011-12, and to make those reports publicly available in December this year.  This new initiative will give local authorities – and local residents - the tools to see how their service measures up.  It will help them and the public ask well-informed questions about their libraries – and also to make well-informed suggestions for improvement.”

Profiles for 2010-11 are available to be commissioned from CIPFA at the address below.



Contact: Tim Windle

CIPFA Press Office

t 0207 543 5600



CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services. This includes the development of local professional qualifications in African countries like Lesotho and Nigeria and in Europe in post conflict states in the Balkans.