What’s the experiment?
In 1931 the noted Indian librarian and mathematician, Ranganathan, proposed a theory for the operation of libraries based on five simple laws:
- Books are for use
- For every reader his [or her] book
- For every book its reader
- Save the time of the reader
- The library is a growing organism
We would like to work with libraries and their users to test the potential for local or common knowledge and know-how to impact the fifth law – by prototyping Common Libraries with funding from Arts Council England.
How everyone can participate
We’ve sent a box to every library authority in England as well as to 230 community-led libraries which contains (almost) everything a library needs to participate.
Simply read our Maker Kits Leaflet, print this promotional poster, and add the x5 user-led Instruction Sets we’ve supplied to your library management system – then, encourage users to borrow them. Or, if you oversee the library service in your area, please invite one of your library managers to follow the same simple instructions.
If you didn’t receive a box to help you get started but would like to get involved, please contact us and we will either connect you with the person who did receive a box in your area, or dispatch one to you as soon as we’re able.
We would then like you to tell us about interest in Common Libraries amongst your users!
So, please drop us a line to confirm that you plan to participate, and we will email you a short form to log and return borrowing figures to us for each of the x5 Instruction Sets you display for the period January – March 2015.
We hope that library users will also want to begin contributing their knowledge and know-how to the Common Libraries you establish – that’s why we’ve adapted a user submission form developed by the Waiting Room. If we receive submissions from library users in your area, we will acknowledge their interest and contact you to explore whether you’d like to become a fully-fledged Common Library in April 2015 and what support you may require.
Apply for Additional Support
In addition to joining our National Library Science Experiment, library authorities and community-led libraries in England are invited to:
- Apply to receive hands-on support to help you engage your creative communities and assess local interest in establishing Common Libraries right away;
- Apply to become 1 of 5 libraries hosting Maker Instruction Sets as well as Maker Kits to help us assess interest in them across the country; and/or
- Apply to attend a free event to learn more about Common Libraries, experience hacking and making first-hand, and hear about the outcome of this experiment in March 2015. To apply to attend an event in Newcastle or London, please register through Eventbrite.
Application Deadline: January 15th 2015
We hope that after reading a bit about Common Libraries you and your users will welcome this opportunity to work with us to prototype the library of the future – but, should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the team.