A library at the heart of the community : Connecting the University with local communities

English, Lesley and Klaaser, Natalia (2023) A library at the heart of the community : Connecting the University with local communities. In: Academic Libraries North (ALN) Conference 2023, 2023-06-21 - 2023-06-22, St George's Centre.

Full text not available from this repository.


In April 2021 Lancaster University Library launched the ambitious Vision ‘The Library Towards 2025’, where we outlined our ambition to be “A Library at the heart of Lancaster University’s community, local and global. We connect, we innovate, we include”. Our presentation will address one of the themes of the conference ‘Opening our doors’, considering how we have developed our community offer, opening our doors to members of the local community and working in partnership to develop collections and events to bring our communities together. Our work in this area was recognised nationally in November 2022 when we were awarded the Times Higher ‘Outstanding Library Team’ award, with the submission focusing on our achievements aligned to the vision: The library as community connector – connecting the University with our local communities, with the judges highlighting the team’s “strategic and holistic approach” to delivering culture change. We will highlight a series of interlinked activities which collectively support the library ambition to develop extended communities and services, to build the confidence of our community and demystify the library, the university, and the academic world, providing a gateway into the university. These include: Establishing a Library Community Card providing free access to our print collections; Curating Community Collections with local community groups, Opening our new events space for activities which bring our communities together, including the Library Festival, showcasing library and university activities, and EDI and recognition events, for example our Pride Open Day; Welcoming school students into the library, supporting students studying for Extended Project Qualifications (EPQs) as well as hosting Cyber Girls events. Throughout the presentation we will share the opportunities and challenges faced, and the session will be useful for anyone interested in increasing engagement with members of the public and community groups locally. Before we meet, we would love to hear your views and experience about libraries engaging with local communities. We have created a Padlet with five questions that we would like you to answer, but please feel free to add any other relevant comments if you so wish.

Item Type:
Contribution to Conference (Other)
Journal or Publication Title:
Academic Libraries North (ALN) Conference 2023 : Revolutionary thoughts: constructively disrupting the status quo in libraries for the new normal
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
25 Jul 2023 09:55
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 08:50