Enabling enterprise in libraries

Enabling enterprise in libraries

Posted by Anton Schultz  |  28th Jan 2014
Locality is pleased to announce that it is working with Arts Council England to explore existing good practice and assess the further potential to enable enterprise amongst library service providers.

The project will involve research to identify and understand the types of enterprising activities that libraries already undertake or could undertake to generate additional income – both to invest in library service enhancement and to improve their overall resilience and sustainability.

Locality will also work with a small number of organisations to explore in more detail any critical success factors and barriers to income generation that are faced by libraries. This will help partners to better understand how those opportunities can be realised more widely, and what additional support may be required in future.

The project builds upon the Arts Council’s response to ‘Envisioning the Library of the Future’ and those recommendations contained within ‘Learning from Experience: Guiding Principles for Local Authorities’ in respect of Locality’s Community Libraries Research for the Arts Council – both of which inform activities outlined in ‘Great Art and Culture for Everyone’.

We hope that the findings will help both library authorities and local community organisations seeking to deliver high quality library services at a time when many face significant budget constraints. Ultimately, the project seeks to explore how library services can widen their area of operations in an enterprising way without losing or compromising their ethos and core objectives.

The project will examine a broad range of income generation activities – including:

• Non-library public service contracts (e.g. for public health, training and employment, advice service commissioners);
• Non-library private sector service contracts (e.g. parcel drop off points);
• Direct trading through the sale of complementary products (e.g. local art work)
• Non-library charged services (e.g. flexible workspace, research services); and
• Non-traditional ICT services (e.g. 3D printing).

Please complete our questionnaire

We would very much like to hear from organisations that are already involved with and/or seeking to develop enterprising activities within a library context – so, please complete our short online questionnaire to share your views.

The deadline for completion is the 11 of February.

If you would also like your organisation to be considered in respect of our more focused work to explore critical success factors and barriers to income generation, please contact: [email protected]


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Enabling Enterprise in Libraries research report

A research report prepared by Locality, commissioned by Arts Council ...