INSPIRE (Information Sharing Partners in Resources for Education) is a national initiative to promote and facilitate access to libraries of all kinds, including higher education, public and national libraries. MLA North West supports moves towards a nationwide scheme where all participating libraries will provide a minimum level of access to everyone. Our ultimate aim is to improve access to learning and education for all by breaking down barriers to access – barriers in institutions and barriers in attitudes.
For further information on the national scheme, and the Kitemark agreement, see the Inspire web site link below. Libraries within the North West that have joined the scheme are listed in the North West Region pages.
In the North West, INSPIRE was piloted in Cumbria and Liverpool, through work with various groups of learners, but in particular, hard to reach groups, such as refugees and asylum seekers. The aim of these projects has been to explore the resource requirements of these groups and to facilitate access to library resources for the benefit of the learners. In Cumbria, this has involved the creation of a new access agreement, Addlib, which involves all public, health and academic libraries. In Liverpool, the project aimed to analyse users’ experiences of existing access agreements via Libraries Together: Liverpool Learning Partnership. The project has highlighted the ways in which public libraries in particular can enhance services for black and minority ethnic groups.
Developments are now being taken forward with a North West Inspire Group, with representatives from existing schemes. Current schemes include:
Bolton Bolton Libraries Access Group
Bury Bury Passport to Learning
Cheshire LEARN: Libraries for Educational Access Regional Network
Lancashire Accessing Lancashire Libraries and Information Services
Liverpool Libraries Togeather: Liverpool Learning Partnership
Salford Access Salford
Where available, web site links are given below.