Back in 2013, we began working with The Creative Coop and partners to prototype a Common Library at The Waiting Room in Colchester. A full account of the work we undertook beforehand is available online, with updates anticipated from the Carnegie UK Trust and CILIP respectively this Autumn.

In January 2014, we were fortunate to receive support from Arts Council England to begin exploring the potential to establish a network of integrated ‘library-hack-makerspaces’ – Common Libraries – working with three community enterprises and their local library authorities. You can:

Download the Common Libraries – Library-Hack-Makerspace Project Report (Summary)
Download the Common Libraries – Library-Hack-Makerspace Project – Full Report

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

So, looking ahead, we’re thrilled to announce that Arts Council England has very kindly agreed to support the Common Libraries initiative to continue working with library leaders who are interested in hacking, making and community publishing. Our programme of activities will involve our:

  • Disseminating How-to Establish Common Libraries MakerKits to every Head of Libraries in England to promote the resources we’ve developed and to issue an open call to participate in Phase II activities and/or attend a relevant event.
  • Supporting Hack the Library Days in x5 locations to broker appropriate and mutually beneficial relationships between libraries, hackers and makers in practical settings as well as to help identify quick prototyping wins.
  • Working with x5 libraries to establish the demand for MakerBoxes and MakerKits in different locations.
  • Consulting prospective Common Libraries and their Users about if/how to License their content
  • Hosting x2 Inspire and Inform Events for up to 100 library service commissioners and providers in hack/maker spaces to raise awareness, share learning and establish good practice.
  • Producing a Short Film Series – to capture key messages from the events for dissemination to a wider audience online via the Common Libraries website.

Further details of this next phase of activity will be published during November 2014 – at which time, we do hope you’ll consider joining us!

Image: Some rights reserved by TenerifeMakerSpace