We’re lucky in Perthshire to have access to some fantastic libraries, museums and archives, run by the charitable trust Culture Perth and Kinross. The likes of the AK Bell Library and Perth Museum and Art Gallery have always been fantastic places for children and adults alike to learn and discover, as well as helping people to appreciate the rich culture of the local area and its significance throughout history.
Every two years, Culture PK run an initiative called ‘The Big Listen’ – a six week project which aims to get feedback on the services that are offered to the local community. This is the fourth edition of The Big Listen and it kicked off on October 16th and will run right through until November 25th.
And with construction of a brand new visual arts centre at the current site of Perth City Hall to begin in 2019, the trust are keen to get the views of the local people to help them improve and provide the types of services that the public want. Culture PK will gather information via focus groups, online questionnaires, participatory events and discussions, before unveiling their findings in January 2018.
Helen Smout is the Chief Executive of Culture PK, and one of those leading The Big Listen project. She’s hoping to get as much engagement from the local community as possible and moving forward, she’d like to highlight the full range of services available to people particularly in the local libraries, which they may not know about. We’re looking to get a feel of the impact of our services on people’s lives and get their thoughts on how we can make them better.
“The Big Listen 4 is a large-scale consultation with our users and more especially people who don’t currently use our services or who have stopped using them in the last few years, which has been held every two years since 2011.
“The Big Listen 4 will help inform the service developments and improvements within Culture Perth and Kinross helping ensure our future services are reflecting the needs and interests of our communities.
“This year the focus is on engaging libraries, archives and museum users – plus people who used to visit them but for some reason have stopped. We’re looking to get a feel of the impact of our services on people’s lives and get their thoughts on how we can make them better. We want to know why people do use our services, and why they don’t use them anymore or as often as they might.
“People who haven’t used their local library for a while will be surprised by our range of services. Members can access free Wi-Fi, computers and the internet. They can also tap into a huge selection of e-audio books, e-magazines, e-reference and online resources for adults and children. There’s even a free library App which gives access to library information, and of course there are traditional newspapers, magazines and thousands of books.
“The libraries teams also co-ordinates book groups, author talks and signings, exhibitions and special events geared at children. Plus there are impressive local studies resources and a network of mobile libraries covering the rural parts of Perth and Kinross not served by a community library building.”
With so much available right on our doorsteps, we’re very lucky to have the libraries, museums and archives run by Culture PK. They do a fantastic job and here at Small City we can’t wait for the work to start on the brand new visual arts museum in 2019!
For more information or to complete one of The Big Listen 4’s surveys, visit the Culture PK website here.
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