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A young girl dressed in pink and blue is held up by a parent as she walks in a library

Libraries Connected update on Omicron Covid variant

Following the Prime Minister’s statement on Friday about the new Omicron Covid variant and increa


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Libraries Connected seeks contractor for Heads of Service mentor scheme

Libraries Connected is seeking an expert contractor to facilitate the development of a peer mentor scheme for library Heads of Service.


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Libraries Connected seeks contractor for new strategic plan and NPO bid

Libraries Connected is seeking an organisation to develop a new strategic plan for the period from 2023 to 2027.


Libraries Connected Award winners 2021

Libraries Connected Awards winners announced!

Libraries Connected is delighted to announce the winners of its first ever awards to recognise and celebrate the achievements of library staff over the past year.


A man in a cream jumper reads from a tablet device.

The 100 Novels that Shaped our New World

Library users and staff around the country have been choosing the novel that had meant the most to them during the pandemic.


A boy studies a laptop screen.

Invitation to Tender: Information and Digital Learning Module for library staff

Libraries Connected are looking for a subject specialist to develop the content for two 30-minute online learning tutorials and liaise with our online learning provider on its production.


Delegates at 2019 seminar clapping

Libraries Connected Awards 2021: Shortlists announced

This week we will announce the shortlists for the inaugural Libraries Connected Awards 2021, celebrating the achievements of people working in libraries, acknowledging excellence and showcasing good practice. 


A pair of hands hold a sheet with printed writing on it

Libraries Connected and CILIP seek Board Chair for new Workforce and Skills Strategy

We are seeking a Board Chair from the public library sector to Chair approximately four to eight meetings over the span of the Public Library Workforce and Skills Strategy project.


Two men help two young children with a computer activity

Libraries Connected and CILIP partner for new Workforce and Skills Strategy

Libraries Connected and CILIP are delighted to announce the commissioning of Evidence Base at Birmingham City University to create a new Workforce and Skills Strategy for Public Libraries.


A woman holds up a tablet in front of her face in a library

Leading Libraries Exploring Leadership: Invitation to Apply

Exploring Leadership is a new short course drawing upon some of the core concepts of the current Leading Libraries programme developed and led by the Birmingham Leadership Institute.


The future is uncertain but the end is always near

Death Positive Libraries: An academic view

Dr Claire Nally and Dr Stacey Pitsillides share some thoughts on the Death Positive Libraries project and their research.


Story time group in a library

Libraries Connected launch new awards scheme for library staff

We're launching our new awards to recognise all the amazing achievements of library staff over the past year.


A circle of children play with toys in an orange bucket

Library services selected for Family Arts/Age Friendly Standards development support

Libraries Connected, in partnership with The Family Arts Campaign, are inviting library authorities in England to apply for a small grant to support them in reviewing and improving their practice to apply for the Family Arts or Age Friendly Standards for their authority.


Delegates at 2019 seminar clapping

Accreditation pilots launch

We are running two pilots over the next few months for our project to develop a form of accreditation for English public libraries.


Woman next to chalkboard that says love after death

Death positive libraries: A national framework

Death positive libraries aim to remove the barriers to talking about death and dying through a range of innovative activities that appeal to diverse communities. 


Older man reading a book in a library

Novels that Shaped your New World

As part of the legacy of BBC Novels That Shaped Our World programme, Libraries Connected are creating a new list of the 100 novels that readers have found escape, solace and comfort from during the pandemic.


A hand holding a yellow pencil rests on an open leaflet

Future Funding: Training development reaches halfway mark

We are now halfway through our pilot training development programme for the Future Funding project, which seeks to help public libraries to develop the skills, abilities and knowledge they need to develop and diversify their income strategies. 


Leaflets for the Bumping Spaces project showing blue lettering on a white background

Libraries as 'Bumping Spaces'

Helen Tremaine from City of London Libraries explains their project which promotes the value of libraries in overcoming barriers within communities.


Women in a library weaving

New Universal Library Offers Plan 2021-22

The Universal Library Offer workplan reflects some of the challenges libraries face as we emerge from lockdown as well as responding to ongoing societal issues around race and equality. 


Delegates networking at a seminar

MozFest 2021

The Mozilla Festival is hosted by the Mozilla Foundation and harnesses the collective power of unexpected partnerships to creatively disrupt the status quo and reframe and reimagine our online world.​ This year Libraries Connected was able to offer a number of bursaries for public librarians to attend. 


Fruit powered electronics

Mozfest bursaries for libraries

Mozfest will be held virtually from the 8 – 19 March and we are delighted to announce that we are offering a number of bursaries to public library staff who would like to attend.


Library delegates at a seminar

Accreditation for libraries update

Heads of library services want a system that will help them to improve and advocate for their services with a strong focus on demonstrating how they meet community need. 



Applying for Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants

In December, we hosted a webinar on the National Lottery Project Fund with Claire Robe, Libraries Relationship Manager with Arts Council England.


The new Vision and Print Impaired People’s Promise

The new Vision and Print Impaired People's Promise more direct and literally reflects the purpose and people at its heart.


Libraries Connected statement on English libraries in lockdown

Throughout this pandemic, Libraries Connected has kept the safety and wellbeing of staff, volunteers and library users at the centre of its decision making.


Welcome to the Future Funding programme

We know the challenges ahead are increasing and we know that our Future Funding programme will enable public libraries to actively develop effective and sustainable income generation strategies so they can maintain their services, writes Iain Moore


Mark Freeman speaking at a seminar

Mark Freeman receives an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list

Mark Freeman, Past President of Libraries Connected has received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.


Delivering public engagement digitally

by Rachel Heydecker, Carnegie UK Trust

One thing we are keen to do at the Carnegie UK Trust is to share our learnings and talk to others about how they have been working during the pandemic.


Young children in a library around a bucket

Safety processes in libraries are working to keep people safe from COVID-19

Safety processes in libraries are working effectively to keep people safe from COVID-19 infections, reveals a survey for Libraries Connected released today


Libraries Connected statement on CIPFA library survey 2019/20

We know that even before the current crisis, many local authorities were struggling financially and this is reflected in the cuts to library spending.


Caroline Dinenage, Libraries Minister's speech at the Libraries Connected Day Seminar

DCMS has been promoting the importance of libraries actively across government in such areas as literacy, digital inclusion, business support and health and wellbeing. I’d like everyone to see public libraries as an investment, rather than a cost.


Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan, MBE elected as President Elect of Libraries Connected

Libraries Connected is delighted to announce the election of their new President Elect, Ayub Khan


Out of the frying pan? Libraries post pandemic

We asked our members what they were expecting next year. Many are facing a triple whammy of budget reductions, loss of earned income and the increased costs of running COVID secure services.


Children working on tablets in a library

Statement on The Great Digital Catch Up

Libraries Connected welcomes the new Great Digital Catch up campaign by The Good Things Foundation.


Elderly woman's hands on a keyboard

Over 75% of library services delivered online events during lockdown

Over 75% of libraries delivered online events during lockdown and library teams made over 130,000 calls to local people who were shielding or vulnerable, reveals our new report.


Isobel Hunter speaking at a seminar

Queen's Honours for libraries

We are delighted to announce that our Chief Executive Isobel Hunter had been awarded an MBE services to public libraries in this year's Queen's Honours list.


Sarah from South Gloucester Library Service

Libraries in Lockdown: A librarian's tale

I took a call from my Library Supervisor and found myself asking if there was anything I could do for our customers while libraries were closed.


Delegates at 2019 seminar

We're looking for members to help lead our work

We are looking for members to stand for the post of President Elect and Trustee of Libraries Connected.


Delegates at a seminar

Invitation to tender for Future Funding programme

We're seeking a training and skills development agency to deliver a commercial skills programme for libraries.


We’re back! How public libraries have been reopening their doors

As high streets, businesses and the wider economy starts to open, we’ve been collecting data about how public library services have been reopening. 


Supporting digital literacy to improve health for all

As we all work our way through Covid-19, the issue of digital literacy has never been more important.


New guide to help libraries to reopen

Today Libraries Connected publishes its toolkit to help libraries to reopen in July and to reintroduce their services gradually, in line with the latest public health advice.


Libraries Connected Statement on Black Lives Matter

Libraries Connected believes that Black Lives Matter.

We condemn racism and discrimination in all its forms.

We want to look back at this moment as the time when racial injustice is finally eradicated.


Libraries Connected welcomes new president

Carol Stump, from Kirklees Libraries, has become the new President of Libraries Connected.


Libraries as part of the solution to recovery: Reflections from our new President Carol Stump

It seems a long time ago now since I became President Elect of Libraries Connected. So much has happened both in the library world and the world at large.


A world turned on its head: Reflections from our Past President, Mark Freeman

It seems impossible to believe that two years have passed by since I stood up in front of my peers at the seminar which marked the passing from SCL to Libraries Connected.


Tickets for the Afterlife: Creating a death positive space

In the current climate, we have all been prompted to think more about loss: the loss of normality, loss of work or income, and the loss of loved ones.


Safety first: The recovery of library services

The immediate task of reopening the doors will only be the first step in gradually restoring library services and refocusing and repositioning them to meet the new challenges and opportunities of the post-Covid world.


Woman weaving

New training module for Culture and Creativity Offer commissioned

Libraries Connected have appointed Creative Arts East to develop a new culture and creativity online learning module for library staff across England.


Closing libraries in Warwickshire - a mad week

It seems counter-intuitive to shut down library services in a crisis - but that’s exactly what we’ve all had to do.


#LibrariesFromHome: New website highlighting digital and remote library services

Libraries Connected today launches #LibrariesFromHome, an online resource to showcase the fantastic remote services that libraries are delivering to people across the country


Request for government to advise the closure of public libraries

Libraries Connected has today written to government ministers to request that public libraries be added to the list of public venues that the government has asked to close.


Statement on COVID-19 and public libraries

Given the central role of libraries in their communities and their support to the most vulnerable, any decision taken to close buildings should not be taken lightly. We are calling on government to make a clear decision about closing libraries.


Two new member trustees appointed to Libraries Connected board

Libraries Connected is pleased to announce the appointment of two new trustees to the board, Anthony Hopkins, BEM from Merton and Kathryn Harrison from Wakefield.


Applications for bursary places at our 2020 annual seminar are now open

As part of our commitment to supporting the development of future library leaders, we are offering two sponsored places at our 2020 seminar.


Libraries Connected COVID-19 statement

Libraries Connected is closely monitoring this situation and its implications for library service


Invitation to tender: Independent evaluator for Leading Libraries

We are looking for an independent evaluator to evaluate our Leading Libraries programme and make recommendations about potential future activity.


Librarians at a workshop

We're looking for two new Trustees

We're looking for two new Trustees from our membership who are interested in helping to shape, grow and lead the future for Libraries Connected.


Delegates at 2019 seminar

Let's Create!

Sue Williamson, Director Libraries, Arts Council England looks at what the organisation’s 2020-2030 strategy means for libraries.


We're growing!

We're delighted to announce the appointment of three new roles within the Libraries Connected team to help us to deliver our key projects.


Asian family in library

Birmingham Leadership Institute to deliver library leadership diversity programme

Libraries Connected has appointed Birmingham Leadership Institute to deliver their programme to drive diversity in library leadership.


Reggae choir singing in a library

Invitation to tender: Culture and Creativity training module

We are looking for an arts or cultural organisation who can create an online learning module on libraries and culture to be hosted on our e-learning site.


New programme to help libraries to raise income

Libraries Connected is planning a programme of training and mentoring to help library services to develop strategic approaches to income generation.


Our statement on CIPFA library data 2019

We are encouraged to see that local authority spending on libraries rose slightly this year even though levels have fallen significantly over the past decade.


Our new annual report is now live!

Find out more about all we've achieved in our first year.


Mozfest 2019

The Mozilla Festival (also known as MozFest) covers a range of topics focusing on creating a better internet. The theme for this year’s Mozilla Festival was healthy AI.


Cooking class in a library

Statement on the government's Social Prescribing Academy launch

There are over 3000 public libraries in the UK and many of these are already working closely with local social prescribers.


Invitation to tender: Public Library Service Accreditation

We are looking for an expert contractor to help develop an accreditation scheme for English public libraries.


Delegates at 2019 seminar

Invitation to tender: Leading Libraries

Libraries Connected are seeking an innovative and experienced development organisation to deliver a major leadership programme for public libraries.


Librarians listening to a speaker

Libraries Connected to consult on new accreditation framework for libraries

Libraries Connected today announce a vital new initiative to clearly define what a high-quality library service looks like.


Storyteller in a library

Libraries Connected announces major new programme for The Novels That Shaped Our World festival

An exciting new programme of library activities, events and partnerships designed to celebrate the novel and promote the joy of reading, particularly to new and diverse audiences, is unveiled today.


Children creating with tablets

Libraries Week: Celebrating libraries in a digital world

This year, Libraries Week allows all of us who cherish libraries to celebrate their growing role


Hand writing out plan

Libraries Connected and CILIP publish new roadmap for future library development

A new blueprint for an integrated and improved framework for supporting public libraries in England is published today.


Library leader

New regional support model for public libraries announced

A new support model for public libraries has been announced today that will be a game changer in how they face future challenges. 


Digital Library Framework suspended

Libraries Connected met with JISC to discuss the future of the Digital Library Framework. The fra


Universal Offers: Next Steps by Sarah Mears

For the past 10 months Libraries Connected have been working with Shared Intelligence to review our Universal Offers.


Four refreshed Universal Library Offers announced

Libraries Connected today launches their refreshed Universal Library Offers, which demonstrate wo


First impressions: Catherine and Liz at the Libraries Connected Seminar

For the first time Libraries Connected, in partnership with Carnegie UK Trust, offered two sponsored places at the 2019 annual seminar to Liz Leyshon and Catherine Barlow.


Delegates at 2019 seminar

Seminar 2019: Speeches and presentations

This year's seminar theme was Libraries: A place for us all.


Two Libraries Connected trustees named in Queen’s Honours list

Lesley Sim and Martin Burton have today been named on the Queen’s Honours list. Both Lesley and Martin are trustees of Libraries Connected and will receive a BEM for their committed and inspiring work in libraries.


Reading for empathy by Sarah Mears

I believe that empathy is the quality that powers public libraries - offering reading that transports people to other places and other lives, providing shared spaces where different groups come together and feel they belong and delivering services that can make people’s lives better.


Boy working on a laptop

Statement on Digital Transformations for UK Public Libraries report

Libraries Connected welcomes the new report on digital transformation in libraries from the British Library,  which is based on extensive research over the past year. 


Mother reading with her young child

Statement on Tim Coates survey on reading in libraries

Libraries Connected believes that reading is and should be at the forefront of library activity and 182,895,337 books were issued in 2017/18. However, reading is not only a solitary activity and libraries have had huge success engaging communities around reading.


National portfolio libraries: One year on

The luxury of being able to plan artistic programmes over four years, to take risks and immediately apply lessons from past activities, and new partnership opportunities were highlighted as some of the key benefits that National Portfolio status has brought to libraries.


New BBC tour of British libraries to showcase its VR videos

The BBC will bring the BBC VR Hub to more than 40 local libraries across the UK from May to July in partnership with Libraries Connected and Scottish Library and Information Council. 


Young people at the skills academy

Somerset Libraries nominated for Digital Leaders 100 award

Somerset Libraries have been nominated as finalists in the Digital Leaders 100 Awards for the delivery of the Somerset Digital Skills Academy where they have worked with school students to encourage them to consider a career in the digital industry. 


A librarian is a librarian but an OBE is an OBE by Ian Anstice

There’s a saying about librarians that no-one ever entered the profession for the money or the power. Too true, but I think another equally true statement is that no one ever goes in it expecting an award or an honour.


'The library was my portal to a new world' Bobby Seagull on libraries for World Book Day

The library was a place for us to discover everything around us. If we wanted to find out about South American rainforests, the engineering marvels of the Victorian era or read children’s fantasy literature, the library was my portal to a new world.


Reading for pleasure in Pakistan by Sarah Mears

An invitation to talk about libraries and reading for pleasure is always exciting and when that invitation comes from Pakistan, it’s irresistible.


Blueprint for libraries project update from Isobel Hunter

We are in the first stage of what we hope will be an extended three-part programme to improve the structure of the public library sector nationally.


Reshaping our Universal Offers: An update from Sarah Mears

I’m pleased to report that the Universal Offer review is gathering pace and that we will complete the evidence gathering phase of the project this month. 


Libraries Connected awarded funding for regional development

Libraries Connected has been awarded £75,000 from the Arts Council to explore the support required by our regional networks.


Statement on CIPFA's annual library survey

The latest CIPFA figures are extremely worrying for anyone who cares about libraries. 


Carol Stump announced as President Elect of Libraries Connected

Libraries Connected are delighted to announce the election of Carol Stump as our new President Elect.


New roadmap for public libraries to be investigated

A new initiative has been launched to establish a stronger future for public libraries across England.


New chapter for library borrowing

Trafford Council became the first metropolitan borough to scrap all fines in its libraries in April 2018.


Libraries Connected: First Impressions

Whenever I have a new person joining my team, I’m keen to hear their first impressions as their fresh eyes often spot things that us old-timers overlook.


Libraries Connected announce Universal Offer review

Libraries Connected new Universal Offers review will be carried out by Shared Intelligence.


Developing principles for working with young people in libraries

We are looking for an individual or organisation to work with representatives from ASCEL, Libraries Connected and The Reading Agency.


Libraries Week 2018: Focus on health and wellbeing

Libraries Week is our chance to celebrate libraries and to demonstrate just how much they deliver across a range of areas including health and wellbeing.


Launch of Growing Well, a Toolkit to Help Combat Childhood Obesity

In early 2017 ASCEL commissioned The Reading Agency to research recommendations for a possible children and young people’s strand of the Universal Health Offer. 


Libraries Connected: First Impressions

I can't believe I'm already a month and half into the role of Programme Manager at Libraries Connected.


Libraries Connected appoints a new Trustee

Libraries Connected is pleased to announce that Lesley Sim has been appointed to its Board of Trustees. 


Invitation to tender for the Universal Offer Review

Our Universal Offers, launched in 2013, are a strategic programme and an articulation of the power of public libraries to enrich the lives of individuals and their communities.


Neil MacInnes, Mark Freeman, Isobel Hunter and Nicholas Serota

Seminar 2018: The speeches

Listen to some of the main talks from our 2018 seminar.


Reading Well for Mental Health launch: 5 June

The contribution of reading and libraries to mental health was centre stage at last Tuesday’s launch of the latest list.


Building on our past for a stronger future

I want briefly to reflect on where I came from and what public libraries did for me.


Farewell from Neil

As I sit on the train heading to the SCL seminar I’m reflecting on the last two years and my term as President of SCL.


Libraries Connected: The new charity for libraries

Libraries Connected launches today at a national seminar with the new Libraries Minister.