The library network in Bourg-en-Bresse: “small” libraries in the thick of the action

Many French public libraries, though small in size, are fully the equal of larger institutions in terms of the services offered to readers and the programmes they run. The French Ministry of Culture set up the Ruches (beehives) programme in support of small local multimedia libraries after encouraging the construction of larger regional libraries in the 1990s. The libraries in Bourg-en-Bresse offer an example of such a network, illustrating the need for smaller, more welcoming libraries with strong local connections, working together with stakeholders in the community and putting readers at the heart of everything they do to create a genuine public service promoting reading at grassroots level.