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From Lending to Learning by Rónán O'Beirne

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4

Developing learning services in public libraries

Over a decade ago, with the new century about to begin, there was a sense of hope in the ideal of lifelong learning. What was dubbed at policy level as a new learning age and was seen on the ground as an emphasis on the wider benefits to society of learning ‘for its own sake’ was recognised and encouraged. The new Labour government had policies that promised much, particularly when it came to learning:

As well as securing our economic future, learning has a wider contribution. It helps make ours a civilised society, develops the spiritual side of our lives and promotes active citizenship. Learning enables people to play a full part in their community. It strengthens the family, the neighbourhood ...

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