Public libraries across the country are being given the opportunity to help future-proof their services thanks to a £200,000 funding boost from the Carnegie UK Trust.
The three-year funding programme, ‘Carnegie Library Lab’, will create partnerships with up to 15 public libraries to support innovative practice and show that book lending is only one of many services that libraries can deliver.
The initiative will also pilot a programme of online learning material to encourage innovation and leadership amongst library staff. This resource will be developed with the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) initiative run by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, part of its Global Libraries programme.
Martyn Evans, Carnegie UK Trust chief executive, said: “Public Libraries have come under scrutiny in recent years with reporting on funding cuts and closures. Despite this, libraries are essential sources for learning and information, and they contribute towards community well-being.
“Carnegie Library Lab will provide funding, training and mentoring to help libraries utilise their space in new ways and develop their service and how they deliver it.”
Any librarian applying for the funding must submit an innovative idea that finds a new way of using library space; demonstrates a new way of delivering a public library service; brings new activities to the library; or involves an innovative partnership.
Funding decisions will be made in 2014 and 2016, with projects taking place between 2014 and 2017. Applications will be accepted between September 1 and 30. Further information is available at www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk