Living Libraries

Living Libraries is an oral history project that explores people’s memories and experiences of public libraries by Roehampton University.

The project aims to find out why and how often people go to libraries, what people do in and get from them, and what people love and hate about the ways they've changed over the past decade or so.

On the site you'll find:

  • Clips from some of the Living Libraries oral histories - including why libraries matter for health and wellbeing, libraries as vital community spaces, as trusted information providers, and libraries' role in tackling climate crisis.
  • An immersive soundscape produced through a collaboration with Seadog Theatre, which focuses on memories of libraries. As close an experience to the planned installation as we could give you online!
  • A new blog - which will be regularly updated over the coming weeks. 
  • New resources, including a policy pack: The case for public libraries in the words of those who use, work in and run them. We're making eight recommendations for the future of public libraries, based on our oral history interviews.