About us

Libraries are at the heart of communities, reflecting and responding to local needs.

They get more visits each year than any other cultural service, with a reach that extends right across income brackets, ages and ethnicities. They play an important role in promoting well-being and community cohesion by producing a range of cultural activities with their local communities, and providing many with access to vital online services.

Maintaining and building on the power of libraries is the heart of our mission. Our Universal Library Offers are key to this and cover the key areas of service which our stakeholders see as essential to a 21st century library service: Culture & Creativity, Information & Digital, Health & Wellbeing, and Reading. Underpinning these offers are our Vision and Print Impaired People's Promise and our Children’s Promise which aim to ensure that these offers remain accessible for all.

Our vision is an inclusive, modern, sustainable and high quality public library service at the heart of every community in the UK. 

We will:

  • Represent the public library sector to communicate the value of libraries

  • Connect partners to local libraries by brokering national relationships with a wide range of organisations and individuals

  • Improve library services by developing and sharing best practice, providing training for library staff and facilitating a network of library leaders in the UK

  • Drive innovation and new thinking on the role of libraries in a modern society.

At Libraries Connected, our ethics underpin everything we do and help us to ensure that we live our values, every day and in all areas of our work. This includes making sure that the people and organisations we work with share our values and our commitment to enriching people’s lives, and that we focus on the activities that will bring the most benefit to our members.

  • We are Supportive. We respond to the varied, emerging needs of our members and their communities to enable libraries to learn from each other, and other sector leaders, so that they can safeguard and improve their services.
  • We are Inclusive. We work with our members and partners to design and deliver our work and to determine our strategic priorities because we are committed to representing the diverse communities and libraries which we serve.
  • We are Open. We are in constant communication with our members and partners on all levels to learn from their experiences, reflect on our practice and develop our services. We welcome challenge and new directions for our work.
  • We are Ambitious. We believe that libraries are an essential part of the solution to a range of society’s needs. We promote innovation and collaboration to ensure that libraries are recognised locally and nationally.

Libraries Connected is a charity that will build on our previous work as Society of Chief Librarians (SCL). We are now partly funded by Arts Council England as the Investment Principle Support Organisation (IPSO) for libraries. This funding provides increased capacity with a new team of staff and trustees to work alongside our members. However, we are proud to remain a membership organisation, made up of every library service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Libraries Connected Annual Report 2021

This Report presents a summary of the work of Libraries Connected for the year 2020-21.


Libraries in Lockdown: Connecting communities in crisis

Our Libraries in Lockdown report shows how libraries and their staff kept communities connected and supported the most vulnerable.