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Paper 10 - 24 July 1998 Meeting 

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

24 July 1998

LOCAL GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICE

Joint Report by the County Librarian, Hampshire County Council, and the Association's Policy Officer

RECOMMENDATION

that the report be noted.

SUMMARY

The Local Government Information Service is available free of charge to members and officers on the mainland. Yet its use amongst district councils is patchy. This report is intended to bring this local service to the attention of members.

INTRODUCTION

1. The Local Government Information Service, based at County Library Headquarters, Winchester, exists to provide a first-stop, fast track information service to Members and Officers of the County and other public authorities in Hampshire. There is a service level agreement with both Southampton and Portsmouth City Councils, and both these authorities make good use of the LGIS particularly at strategy/policy unit level. A leaflet about the service will be available at the meeting.

SERVICES PROVIDED

2. (a) Current Affairs

(i) Information Bulletin (weekly)

Abstracts of articles from a wide range of journals and reports. Available on Hantsnet (Hampshire County Council's intranet system) and in hard copy. A rapid document supply facility is available.

(ii) Daily Press Service

Headlines from the quality press are scanned, abstracts are available by early afternoon every day on Hantsnet.

(iii) Parliamentary Bulletin

The day's proceedings in Parliament (Hansard) are scanned for relevant items. Available within 24 hours on Hantsnet. A rapid document supply facility is available.

(iv) European Bulletin (weekly)

Abstracts of items from the Official Journal and other sources of European information. Available on Hantsnet and in hard copy on subscription. A rapid document supply facility is available.

(v) Photocopies of the full text of items are available for a small fee. Additional screens of information and links to other sources of local government information are available via Hantsnet. Databases of past items from the Parliamentary and Information Bulletins are also searchable.

(b) Enquiries

A 24 hour service is provided (answerphone after office hours) for fast and effective help with information needs.

(c) Reports Collection

A collection of material reflecting issues and trends facing local government. Recent additions are listed on the weekly information bulletin. Items can be borrowed from the collection for up to three weeks. A database is available.

(d) Book Requests

Requests to see any published work can be made to us.

(e) Library Consultancy

Advice on setting up and running departmental libraries is normally free of charge.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT

3. We are developing an Internet site linked to the Hampshire Community Network. In the near future many of our services will be available in this way. In the meantime, the City Council intranet services link to Hantsnet, and use of Hantsnet is freely available to District Councillors.

4.The attached statistics show that not all Councils represented on the Association of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Authorities make use of the Local Government Information Service, although it is unique to this area and provides a dedicated service tailored to the needs of the local government community.

5. Members of the Association are invited to consider whether the Local Government Information Service might be of benefit to them in helping to manage their information needs in a cost-effective and efficient way. Use of the Local Government Information Service is free to District Councils in Hampshire, and is available to buy-in at a very reasonable cost for other authorities.

6. For a discussion on any aspects of the Local Government Information Service members are invited to contact Dr Brian Dawson, Service Manager, on 01962 846114 (E-mail: libsbd@hants.gov.uk).

NICK GOULDER
Policy Officer

Last update: 14/09/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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