It looks like good news for the much-waited-for Single Digital Presence for public libraries, with Arts Council England and the British Library announcing a £3.4m project to deliver a new platform, live to the public in 2022/3. What that platform actually will be is a bit less clear – definitely not a website, apparently – but rather a place where library services can upload content for all to see. I have sent a pile of questions (sorry British Library!) about the project to get some more information and I hope to report more fully soon. But the fact it is going ahead at all, with funding, is good news as it was first considered over a decade ago.

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  • Arts Council announces £3.4million to support public libraries around the UK with online engagement, in partnership with the British Library – British Library. “This phase of the programme is funded for three years, with launch of the new platform expected in the second year.  During that time the British Library will investigate how the platform can be improved to make sure it continues to address the needs of library users in years to come.””
  • ACE announces £3.4m fund for national library website – BookSeller. “Arts Council England (ACE) has announced a £3.4m fund to get the next phase of the “single digital presence” (SDP), a long-planned national website for all public libraries, off the ground. The work will be conducted in partnership with the British Library, which is developing the new platform. The SDP aims to improve public access to the collections, exhibitions and online events of libraries around the country, and was first suggested in William Sieghart’s 2014 Independent Library Report.” … “This next phase will see a public-facing version of the platform developed and live-tested, with £1m of the funding ringfenced to help libraries in England upgrade their IT capabilities to be compatible with the platform.” … “It will host library-curated content and services, promoting two-way traffic with local library websites and giving national visibility to local events and collections” … “launch of the new platform expected in the second year”
  • Celebrate your love of libraries with brand new festival – Oldham Evening Chronicle. “Manchester City of Literature’s inaugural Festival of Libraries, supported by Arts Council England, is due to take place from Wednesday 9 to Sunday, June 13, 2021. The Festival is a brand-new county-wide celebration of Greater Manchester’s 133 libraries, of which Oldham make up 12. A vibrant programme that highlights the Greater Manchester library network’s full offer, across wellbeing, culture and creativity, digital and information, and, of course, reading will be on offer.”
  • Celebrating innovation through CILIP’s new Changing Lives Seminar Series – CILIP. 21 July. ” a programme of virtual events celebrating innovation and thought leadership in the library, knowledge and information sector. Curated alongside our Diversity Networks and Community, Diversity and Equality Group (CDEG), the Changing Lives Seminar Series will invite ‘lightning talks’ from new and diverse voices in sector and a keynote from an established professional.”
  • CILIP Bang! Blowing the lid off the CILIP Yorkshire & Humberside committee – CILIP. 9 July 10am to Noon. Includes “Keynote Ian Stringer – CILIP Bang! Ian will share more about the international working opportunities he has had with CILIP”, including being held at gunpoint.
  • Community engagement solutions – Local Government Library Technology. “This briefing paper outlines the challenges public libraries face in reshaping their community profile. It highlights how emerging community engagement solutions may help target existing and potential users in repositioning public libraries and refreshing their services”
  • Get ready for Libraries Week 2021 – CILIP. “Taking place between the 4th and 10th October, the campaign will showcase how libraries are supporting local recovery, delivering services to meet the diverse needs of their community and helping to combat loneliness and improve wellbeing.”
  • In-House vs. Outsourcing Your Digitisation Project – What are the Pros and Cons? – TownsWeb Archiving. “Jess Sturman-Coombs at TownsWeb Archiving talked to Abby Matthews, Archive and Family History Centre Manager at Sutton Cultural Services, and Julia Parks, Project Manager at Signal Film and Media, about the alternative options available when it comes to digitisation.”
  • Libraries Connected Awards 2021: Nominations now open – Libraries Connected. “Has your library service increased engagement with your users? Improved existing services? Made your library service more inclusive? Created innovative partnerships?” … ” The awards are open to all except heads of service. We are looking for individuals or teams working in public libraries who have had a positive impact on the library service, library users or the local community. This could by introducing an innovative new idea or by going the extra to mile to provide an outstanding service.”
  • A Single Digital Presence for libraries – Arts Council England. “what if your library card also offered you a golden ticket to the collections, events, business support, exhibitions and more that other libraries across the country, indeed across the world, can offer? From your living room you could view those collections and exhibitions, take part in live events and activities and hear talks by leading thinkers and writers, all because you have that little plastic card. That is the concept behind the Single Digital Presence (SDP) for libraries, which, together with the British Library, we’ve been working on for quite some time now.” … ” it’s not a website. It will be a platform for uploading content which will be accessible to library services in the UK  as the programme develops. “
  • Tell us the Novel That Shaped Your New World – Libraries Connected. “Libraries Connected is creating a list of the 100 novels that readers have found escape, solace and comfort from during the pandemic and/or a book that has given them hope for the future.”

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