The Bookseller: Disappointment over 'basic' Taskforce dataset

Data about public libraries in England has been made available by the Libraries Taskforce, six months after it was originally intended for publication. However the data published is just a simple list of the names, addresses, websites and contact emails for public libraries that were open as of 1st July 2016.

Campaigners, library bodies and the shadow culture minister have all criticised it as "disappointing". Kathy Settle, c.e.o. of the Taskforce, has said that this dataset is merely the "first step" in creating a core dataset for libraries.

Kevin Brennan, shadow culture minister, told The Bookseller that the data is "extremely basic" and "very disappointing". "What we need is data that tells us what’s happening to library services in communities and whether Councils are fulfilling their statutory requirements to provide an efficient and comprehensive library service", Brennan said. "Labour is calling on the Government to release the rest of the Libraries Taskforce data, including opening and staffing hours, as soon as possible.”