User charters, instruments for public library transparency and communication Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2021

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1522-0222

abstract

  • The implementation of user charters in Spain"s 53 State-run public libraries was reviewed and the 23 (43.3 %) found on institutional websites were analysed and assessed from the perspective of the active public disclosure, as provision laid down in Spain"s Transparency Act. Charter compliance with those provisions was evaluated in terms of the six parameters set out in the official tool for measuring transparency in Spanish governmental institutions, the Metodología Oficial para la Evaluación y Seguimiento de la Transparencia [MESTA, official methodology for assessing and monitoring transparency]. Three describe the information itself and how it is published (content, form, data and updates) and the other three its quality (accessibility, clarity and reusability). According to the findings, such libraries seldom use their charters to inform citizens of their services and related commitments. Transparency, responsibility and citizen participation should be strengthened through user charters as sources of information on what libraries do and how, when, and where they do it, aligning their commitments with their capacities.

keywords

  • user charters, transparency; active public disclosure; communication; spanish´s; state-run public libraries.