Trust launches initiative to encourage kindness in public libraries across Scotland

February 20, 2020

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Today (Thursday 20th February) the Carnegie UK Trust has launched an initiative that invites public libraries across Scotland to participate in a conversation about kindness. Creating Space for Kindness will work with a cohort of Champions for Libraries and Kindness to develop ideas and test out interventions in their own workplace, and share learning across the sector.

The project builds on three years’ experience of practical work to encourage kindness across a range of communities and organisations. Kindness and human relationships are critical to our wellbeing, and we know that public libraries already play an important role as trusted and safe spaces in communities, with most people in Scotland considering them to be ‘kind places’.

Creating Space for Kindness aims to build on public libraries’ existing strengths, and explore whether the themes of welcoming places, informal opportunities and questioning values can enhance libraries’ contribution to kinder communities and wellbeing.

The initiative will run for eight months: participants will be asked to be part of a conversation about kindness, to develop and test out ideas, and to share learning with the rest of the cohort. The Trust will support activities by hosting a workshop to share and develop understanding about ‘what works’, by facilitating interaction between peers on the project, and by providing a small amount of money to cover the costs of practical activities.

At the end of the process, the collective learning will be captured and shared across library networks in the UK and Ireland, in the hope of inspiring others to take forward action to encourage kindness and continue to enhance the wellbeing of communities.

Creating Space for Kindness brings together for the first time two significant policy areas for the Trust. We are keen to explore whether there is a way to build on Scotland’s public libraries’ strengths – as trusted, safe spaces – to create kinder communities. It is an exciting opportunity to share learning and build our understanding both about practical interventions that can encourage relationships, and the role of public libraries in building kinder communities.” Sarah Davidson, CEO, Carnegie UK Trust

Information and expression of interest

If you are interested in being part of the project, please read our project information leaflet before filling out an expression of interest and returning it to [email protected] by 5pm, Friday 20th March.


Carnegie UK Trust

At the Carnegie UK Trust, we seek to improve the lives and wellbeing of people throughout the UK. It’s our goal to change minds by influencing public policy and change lives through innovative practice and partnerships.

As an operating Trust, we make effective and active decisions about our work. We invest in evidence-based policy development and translate our findings into real-world activities. This allows us to build up a clear set of messages, and we use these to influence decision makers. By doing this, our recommendations can bring about change and, most importantly, improve people’s wellbeing.

The Trust supports public libraries in their role as a significant and effective contributor to the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

For more information please visit