A library at the heart of the community:Strengthening the connection between the University & its place

English, Lesley (2023) A library at the heart of the community:Strengthening the connection between the University & its place. In: Business Librarian's Conference, 2023-06-282023-06-30, Lancaster Univerity.

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In April 2021 Lancaster University Library launched their 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”. In this presentation I will focus on 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 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. I 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, for example the Sanctuary Collection with the Refugee and Asylum Seeker community locally; Opening our new events space for activities which bring our communities together, including 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 other Widening Participation outreach events. Throughout the presentation I 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.

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Contribution to Conference (Paper)
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Business Librarian's Conference
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25 Jul 2023 10:00
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25 Jul 2023 10:00