The Brief

Engaging Libraries logoEngaging Libraries is looking for public libraries across the UK and Ireland that want to pilot creative and imaginative public engagement projects on health and wellbeing. Public libraries have a key role in delivering on health and wellbeing as outlined in national library strategies across the UK and Ireland and the Society of Chief Librarians’ Universal Health Offer. The programme is a partnership between the Wellcome Trust and Carnegie UK Trust and is the outcome of joint work between the Wellcome Trust and the Society of Chief Librarians.


The programme

Engaging Libraries offers:

  • £5,000 – £15,000 to deliver a public engagement project on a health or wellbeing theme. While most applications are expected to fall within this bracket, there is an opportunity to request up to £25,000 for more ambitious projects
  • A package of support from library and public engagement experts
  • Kick-starter day with the opportunity to share project ideas, get advice about public engagement and support to think about your evaluation. There will also be the chance to meet other projects.
  • An external evaluation to ensure learning and experience can be shared more widely.

We are aiming to support between 8 – 10 libraries and activities must be completed between October 2017 and October 2018.



Experimental and innovative projects are welcomed and activities can be playful or serious. The programme is intended to be a learning process for all involved, not just for participants, but for the Trusts and broader public library sector.


How to apply

Potential applicants are invited to attend one of the applicant workshops running during May 2017. Workshops will be experiential and aimed at building understanding of the Engaging Libraries programme. They will also support ideas generation and development through group and one-to-one sessions with experts and representatives from the two Trusts. Workshops will be led by public engagement expert Ellen Dowell. The workshops are now full. Those who cannot attend a workshop are still very welcome to apply to the programme. Please refer to the resources below and feel free to contact us should you have any queries.


Applications are now open! 

Please use the resources below to apply to the programme. Applications can be submitted up until 5pm on Wednesday 23 August 2017.

Engaging Libraries Application Pack (PDF)

Helpsheet 1 – Shaping your idea (PDF)

Helpsheet 2 – Networks and links (PDF)

Engaging Libraries Application Form (Online Form)

We are happy to discuss any queries that you have about applying to the programme by phone or email.

Speak To

Georgina Bowyer

Jenny Peachey

Andy Wright

Please refer to the application pack before proceeding to the online application form

Public engagement involves creating an opportunity for people to consider, participate and debate ideas. It is two-way process, which may involve activities like participation, conversation, interaction and listening. It can take many forms but is often made up of projects, activities or events.


Applicant workshops:
9 and 10 May in London
18 May in Dunfermline
Applications open: 2 May
Applications close: 23 August




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