The Future of Public Libraries

The Trust is working hard to support the future of public libraries. We continue to argue for clear national strategies, and we aim to help set out a new vision for library leadership and innovation.

Current and future work

On 1 September 2014 we were delighted to launch Carnegie Library Lab. The programme provides funding, learning, mentoring and opportunities for networking for individuals working in the public libraries across the UK and Ireland. We have seven Carnegie Partnersworking with us on this programme.

The Trust recently published our final report from our Enterprising Libraries programme. This programme of work looked at the essential link between libraries and economic wellbeing. 

Last Summer we published Speaking Volumes, a document showing the impact public libraries have on key indicators of individual and community wellbeing. We hope this will be widely used to advocate for the continuing role of public libraries in local communities.

Past work

During 2013, the Trust worked to support the case for national visions and national strategies for the public library service in each jurisdiction, but particularly in Scotland.

In 2012 the Trust commissioned research in the UK and the Republic of Ireland which shows that people still love their libraries – but the public library service is at a crossroads and change is needed to respond to reduced levels of public spending, the challenges and opportunities of the digital age, and changes in people’s lifestyles and patterns of behaviour. Click the icons to the right to download the publications that came from this research.

Past events

In October 2013, the Trust ran a seminar called Public Libraries: Reimagining Carnegie as part of Andrew Carnegie's International Legacy festival.  You can listen to the seminar here.

In September 2013, the Trust was delighted to host a seminar with Nate Hill of Chattanooga Library on 'Rapid Library Transformation'. You can watch a short interview with Nate (click here) which captures many of the points covered in the seminar.

If you are interested in our work on libraries, you may also be interested in our work on: better journalism, evidence exchange and digital inclusion.