How good is our public library service?
REVIEW OF INVERLCYDE LIBRARY SERVICES - HOW GOOD IS OUR PUBLIC LIBRARY SERVICE?
QUALITY INDICATOR 5: VISION, STRATEGY AND CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
This report is the Self-Evaluation and Peer Review of Inverclyde Library Services into the following quality indicators:
QI 5 - Vision, Strategy & Continuous Improvement
The Self-Assessment was undertaken by members of staff within Inverclyde Libraries with quality indicator five being led by the Libraries, Education Development and Arts Manager
The Peer Review visit took place at Inverclyde Libraries HQ / Central Library on 28th February 2019 and was conducted by a convener and two peer assessors. The assessors met with a variety of stakeholders including partners, users, and elected members during the lunch session. Visits were also undertaken to South West Library and Gourock Library.
The Peer Review Panel commend Inverclyde Library Service for their work undertaken for the review. Both the report on the previous HGIOPLS Assessment for Q1 and the self-evaluation for QI.5 have clearly resulted in targeted work being undertaken to refine and improve some areas of provision (e.g. new Consultation and Engagement Strategy and new Communications Strategy and Action Plan) demonstrating a commitment to raise service performance to excellent.
Quality Indicator 5: Vision, Strategy & Continuous Improvement
The evidence presented in the self-evaluation demonstrates that there are some notable strengths in provision here, including:
• The service vision and mission are succinct and memorable. The six aligned strategic goals are clearly linked to local council corporate plans, local cultural partnership plans, and to the national strategy for public libraries.
• The annual and project processes are robust with recently updated planning documentation ensuring that the gathering of meaningful evidence of impact is consistently considered at the earliest stages of planning. The annual and project outcomes are specific targets linked to strategic goals.
• A strategic commitment to ongoing staff training (including annual performance reviews) and excellent staff communication contributes to a staff group highly engaged and supported to develop and implement innovative practises
• Good track record of securing external funding to drive service improvement and innovation.
The self-evaluation report and associated documentary evidence were very much brought to life during the peer review visit through the presentations from team members and conversations with staff, partners and users which spoke to the on the ground impact of the service commitment of strategically planned continuous improvement.
The Peer Review Panel endorse the Self-Evaluation Report and agree with the rating given by the Library Service
Quality Indicator 5 (Vision, Strategy & Continuous Improvement) is LEVEL FIVE (Very Good)
• Major strengths.
• A high standard of provision, examples of good practice to share.
• Any weaknesses do not impact on users’ experience.
• Services will take opportunities to improve and strive to raise performance to excellent.
Quality Indicator 5 - Vision, Strategy & Continuous Improvement - Self Evaluation Rating 5; Peer Review rating 5
IMPROVEMENT ACTION PLAN
The Peer Review Panel endorse the Improvement Action Plan for Inverclyde Library Service (Self Evaluation Report [pg36-37]) and summarised below:
Quality Indicator 5 - Vision, Strategy & Continuous Improvement
• A more strategic approach to the use of volunteers
• A further alignment of funding to desired outcomes
• A continued emphasis on staff training and development • Extension of transparent and robust consultation with communities through large scale user survey.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT ACTION PLAN
The Peer Review Panel, while endorsing the Improvement Action Plan for Inverclyde Library Service, make the following additional key recommendations:
• Create and seek opportunities for the good practice, in terms of vision, strategy, planning and continuous improvement, that is developed and implemented within Inverclyde Libraries, and the related knowledge and expertise of Inverclyde Library staff to be shared with peer organisations.
• Ensure that evidence of impact is gathered in ways that make it possible to share and ideally benchmark against peer organisations.
The Peer Review Panel wish to express their thanks to all members of staff at Inverclyde Library Services for preparing the self-assessment report and for their engagement on the day of the Peer Review visit. We would also thank all stakeholders who met with us.