The Brief

Public library services are valued and trusted resources at the heart of communities. They foster learning and social, cultural and economic wellbeing.

Making a Difference: Libraries, Lockdown and Looking Ahead is the Trust’s series of reports on the role public library services and their staff played supporting individuals and communities during lockdown; the barriers libraries faced in delivering services during this time; the role public library services can play in supporting the recovery from the pandemic; and what needs to change to enable public library services to deliver at their full potential to the benefit of their communities. The reports draw on public polling of 2,196 UK adults carried out by Savanta ComRes on behalf of the Carnegie UK Trust, 1,196 responses to a public library staff survey and depth interviews with 22 Heads of Library Services. You can download the publications at the bottom of the page.

‘Shining a Light’ is the Trust’s unique set of publications showing how people in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales use public libraries and what they think of them. It is the only research on public libraries that enables comparisons to be drawn between the jurisdictions of the UK and Ireland. The research is based on over 10,000 interviews conducted across 2011 and 2016 and was carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Carnegie UK Trust. You can view the key data here.

The Trust supports the future for library services and is currently supporting leadership and innovation in public libraries through Carnegie Library Lab. We are also working in partnership with Wellcome to deliver Engaging Libraries – a programme to enable public libraries to experiment with public engagement with research. We have also developed an advocacy resource showcasing libraries’ contribution to wellbeing and key policy areas .We played a leading role in the development of the first National Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland and are proud to be involved in the development of the second strategy.

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Jenny Peachey




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