Creative Minds Invited To Join Hackathon To Help Imagine Libraries Of The Future

October 7, 2016

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Entrepreneurs, students, business and tech communities are being invited to join a hackathon taking place at the UK’s largest technology incubator based in Edinburgh, CodeBase, to develop new ideas to help the library service re-imagine its role and functions.

The first event of its kind in the UK, and taking place across three days and nights from 13th-16th October. Those who take part will develop new ideas and create prototypes of products and services libraries could offer or imagine how library spaces could be used differently in future. Participants will also have the chance to pitch live ideas to members of the public at a city centre library during the event.

The event is being hosted by philanthropic organisation the Carnegie UK Trust and the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) in partnership with hackathon experts, Product Forge.

Gina Wilson, Senior Projects Officer for the Carnegie UK Trust and co-host of the hackathon event, said:

“Andrew Carnegie’s name is synonymous with libraries. He built 2,500 across the world and believed they outranked anything else a community could provide to benefit its people. A century later, the way in which we use libraries continues to evolve. We’re online more than ever before and libraries are providing us with a range of digital services and support. What else could encourage people through their doors to take advantage of what they offer?

“The hackathon is a chance to bring together not only those in the creative and technology industries but anyone with an entrepreneurial spark to help come-up with alternative ideas to help secure the future of our library services.”

Gillian Daly, Head of Policy and Projects for SLIC said:

“This is the first event of its kind in the UK and we’re delighted that Scottish libraries are leading the way to develop digital services. Libraries play a key role in encouraging digital creativity and supporting digital participation. This event is an exciting opportunity to scope out new ideas that could potentially become a reality in libraries all over the world.”

Tickets are £25 per head for the hackathon (concessions available) which includes free business and technical mentoring, free meals throughout the event and 24 hour access to CodeBase. Top ranking teams will also receive additional support to develop their concept further. For more information, please visit: or search #FutureLibPF.



For media enquiries, please contact Kirsty Anderson or Gerard Klein at Grayling on 0131 226 2363 or [email protected]


The Carnegie UK Trust was established in 1913 by Scots-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It seeks to improve the lives and wellbeing of people throughout the UK and Ireland with particular regard to people who are disadvantaged.

By investing in evidence-based policy development and translating findings into real-world activities, the Trust builds a coherent set of messages that influence decision-makers to change their behaviours and improve wellbeing.

The Trust’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan sets out three strategic objectives: be a recognised leader in wellbeing and its links to public policy, be a champion for sharing learning between all jurisdictions of the UK and Ireland and make working across the public, private and voluntary sector more normal and valued. These are reflected across three work streams: Digital Futures, Flourishing Towns and Fulfilling Work.


Scottish Library and Information Council is the advisory body to the Scottish Government on library and information services. SLIC also supports innovation and service development across the Scottish library sector, with a membership base including education, health and public libraries. SLIC coordinated the development of Scotland’s first national public library strategy in 2015, and is now leading the implementation of Ambition and Opportunity across the library network. Other key projects currently under development include Every Child a Library Member and a pilot scheme to introduce a single library card for all public libraries.