The Brief

Digital Services Delivery

COVID-19 has increased the demand for a wide range of support services, while at the same time requiring transformational change in the way these services are provided, given the ongoing restrictions around traditional face-to-face contact. For many organisations, this has created a new and unplanned set of obstacles, concerns and considerations, but also potential opportunity.

As we collectively shift through different stages of the crisis,  we want to support organisations to develop their capability and confidence to explore providing services online or test new out new digital techniques where appropriate, to ultimately ensure that individuals receive the services they need to support their wellbeing through and beyond this pandemic.

We have partnered with Your Own Place to produce a short blog and vlog series ‘Our Digital Lockdown Journey’, sharing their insights, thoughts and reflections on their experience of developing online services during the crisis, and encourage others organisations to get in touch with their own learning on this topic. A short summary paper bringing together the key learnings and questions raised through this series can be viewed here.

 

Single Digital Presence for Public Library Services

A single digital presence could provide public libraries with the opportunity to revisit the core library mission and thinking about how it can be better delivered, opening up new opportunities and possibilities for service and user alike. The British Library is leading on a period of analytic and strategic development of a single digital presence for public libraries. This work is supported by Arts Council England and the Carnegie UK Trust.

The mid-programme report exploring what a new online platform (or “single digital presence”) for public libraries in the UK could look like, what it could be used for, how such an offer might fit in with existing digital library systems and recommendations for strategic development is available here.

 

SMARTlife technology in Service Delivery

The Trust is working with Scottish Government, Blackwood Housing and Just Economics to undertake an evaluation of the deployment of the CleverCogs digitally enhanced care system by Blackwood.

 

Read the summary report of the evaluation, Living Digitally, here.

 

Future Libraries Hackathon 

The library service is re-imagining its role and functions: working in different ways in order to be sustainable and relevant. Hackathons provide an agile, realistic and cost-effective way of generating disruptive ideas, approaching challenges and initiating projects. Our Hackathons bring unusual partners together, along with open data from the public library service, in order to create new ideas for products and services or to tackle a relevant issues for the community.

We have published a full report highlighting the learnings and insight from our first hackathon “Future Libraries Hackathon” (2016) and a standalone route map providing step-by-step questions for those keen to run a hackathon to consider.

We followed this up by supporting Manchester Libraries and Libraries Unlimited to adapt the hackathon methodology to deliver their own hackathons.

The learnings from these events are summarised in Engage. Respond. Innovate: The Value of Hackathons in Public Libraries. The report also explores the broader benefits, limitations and considerations of the approach for libraries; the different ways in which public libraries and staff can be involved with hackathons using UK and international library examples; and signposts a range of useful resources.

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