Are social enterprises the future for libraries? - Tim Smedley on The Guardian Professional | The Information Professional |
Public sector cuts have led to a rise in the number of social enterprises running library services, but sustainability is a problem



Social enterprises are, however, offering much more than books and computer access – the mixed-use community hub, argues Dunn, is the library model for the next 30 years: "We're open longer now than when the local council ran the libraries. I really believe that there's a wider range of services that we offer from our libraries now... There are things that the local council do well, no question. But they are unable to move quickly and introduce new services quickly when the community asks for it." The reason why social enterprises can, he says, "is that we are the local community – there is no them and us."