The Future of Public Libraries

The Trust is working hard to support the future of public libraries. We have supported the development of a National Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland, and we are working to enhance library leadership and innovation.

Current and future work

On 10 November 2015 we were delighted to launch the second round of 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 Partners currently working with us on this programme. The application period closes 29 January 2016.

In 2014 the COSLA Sports, Arts and Culture Working Group asked the Scottish Library and Information Council to facilitate the development of Scotland's first national strategy for public libraries. SLIC did so by convening a National Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland's Strategic Group which Martyn Evans, our Chief Executive Officer, chaired.To read the strategy please click on the National Strategy icon to the right.

At the beginning of the year The Trust 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

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.

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.

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.