The Brief

The library service is re-imagining its role and functions: working in different ways in order to be sustainable and relevant. The Future Libraries Hackathon brought together multi-disciplinary teams of students, graduates, entrepreneurs and mentors to work together over 4-days in CodeBase, Edinburgh (13-16 October 2016) to create working technical prototypes of new products or services. Search #FutureLibPF to see how the weekend went, or watch the highlight video below. We have also published a full report highlighting the learnings and insight from the Future Libraries Hackathon, and a standalone route map providing step-by-step questions to consider.

Participants investigated how libraries can reinvent themselves as digital spaces – with a focus on user experience, maker spaces and digital inclusion. Charged with creating a new product or service over four days, they sought out business opportunities and conducted user research in Edinburgh’s Central Library, hand in hand with developing a working technical prototype. The event ended with a demo evening where seven teams delivered a 10 minute presentation to a panel of judges. Watch the pitch from our winning team below.


Why did we do this?

  • Promotion of collaborative, enterprising and agile approaches to the development of future service design; using digital tools and cross-disciplinary teams as the mechanism.
  • Demonstrate the potential of library services to provide relevant, dynamic, proactive services located at the heart of communities; responding to the ever changing needs of those communities.
  • The Future Libraries mini-hackathon, held on 21st June 2016, was an invite only 1-day event for Scottish Library Digital Champions (#slicdigichamps), to demonstrate the potential of the main event format. We worked with library data from a library management system and generated ideas for challenges. Read our Storify for more.

Speak To

Anna Grant





Get Involved

If you are interested in getting involved, either as a participant or a mentor, please get in touch with [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]

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