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Initiatives and Resources

This section provides links to the websites of various initiatives delivered, supported and promoted by public libraries and partner organisations across the UK. A real source of inspiration, it's an ever-growing list of innovations impacting on the lives of public library staff and the wider general public.

If you would like to propose an addition to the list, please contact:


Access to Research - providing free, walk-in access to over 15 million academic articles in participating public libraries across the UK.

Black History Month - annual celebration throughout October, marking the huge contributions to society that black people have made throughout history in the fields of art, music, science, literature and many more.

Books on Prescription - reading lists endorsed by health professionals and supported by public libraries, Books on Prescription helps individuals to understand and manage their health and wellbeing, using self-help reading. 

Bookstart - providing every local authority in England and Wales with free resources to support all families with pre-school children in reading together every day, and inspiring children to develop a love of books.

Chatterbooks - a flexible reading group model for children from 4 up to 12, run in libraries and schools to generate discussion and encourage children to enjoy reading.

Code Club - a nationwide network of volunteers and educators, delivering free coding clubs for young people aged 9-13.

Coursera - an online learning platform where anyone, anywhere can learn and earn credentials from the world’s top universities and education providers.

Dementia Action Week - taking place annually in May to raise awareness of dementia and the need to create dementia-friendly environments across the UK to support people affected by dementia.

Digital Unite - helping people develop their digital talents through free online technology guides, a network of computer tutors, courses and an online community of learners.

Europeana - online resource working with European archives, libraries and museums to share cultural heritage, Europeana Collections provides access to over 50 million digitised items including books, music, artwork and more.

EU Code Week - taking place annually in October, EU Code Week is a grass-roots movement that celebrates creating with code to show diverse audiences the basics of coding and programming. 

Family Learning Festival - taking place annually in October, this national initiative coordinated by the Campaign for Learning promotes the benefits of family learning across communities,

Fun Palaces - taking place annually in October, Fun Palaces is a campaign promoting community at the heart of culture and culture at the heart of community, with an annual weekend of action created by, for and with local people.

FutureLearn - an online learning platform, offering a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions around the world, delivered one step at a time, and accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop.

Get it Loud in Libraries -  a unique award-winning project designed to give people who love music the chance to see well-known artists in their local library, challenging perceptions of libraries and engaging new audiences, particularly young people, in the culture of their local communities.

Hour of Code - a worldwide initiative to celebrate computer science through delivering a one-hour introduction to coding, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science.

Human Rights Day - takes place annually in December to celebrate the history behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its ongoing relevance across the world.

IFLA Sister Libraries for Children & Young Adults - a programme of IFLA Section Libraries for Children and Young Adults for children’s libraries to build a partnership, exchange views and experiences, collaborate and develop joint programmes for children’s and YA's reading.

International Games Week - an initiative taking place annually in November, aiming to reconnect communities through their libraries by celebrating the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games.

International Women's Day - taking place annually on 8th March, this is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women throughout history and in present-day.

Learn My Way - a website of free online courses for beginners, helping individuals develop digital skills to make the most of the online world.

Little Bird Tales - an online storytelling and e-learning tool suitable for children of all ages, including those who struggle with literacy skills.

Make a Noise in Libraries - a fortnightly celebration across libraries and coordinated by the RNIB, to promote making libraries more accessible and inclusive to the visually impaired, giving readers with sight loss the widest possible choice of resources.

Making Library Makers - an online course developed by the School of Library Makers to help library staff learn maker skills and plan a library makerspace.

Marketing Your Library Using Social Media - slideshare presentation by Neil Infield, Business & IP Centre Manager at the British Library

Mental Health Awareness Week - an annual campaign run by the Mental Health Foundation, to encourage discussion and promote awareness of mental health across communities.

Mozilla Web Literacy - a framework for entry-level web literacy and 21st Century skills, shared via a free, interactive online map that encourages individuals to select what they want to learn more about, see definitions and participate in activities.

National Coding Week - taking place annually in September, National Coding Week aims to inspire people to learn coding and other digital skills.

National Libraries Week - takes place annually in October to showcase of all the creative, innovative and diverse activities that UK libraries have to offer, from play and learning for children, to managing your health, to accessing wifi and games, to finding a job, a hobby or starting a business.

NESTA - an innovation foundation that works with partners across the world to support and develop grassroots organisations, such as community groups and local activists, to make change happen through networking, funding and skills development.

Premier League Reading Stars - available to every primary school in England and Wales, the scheme uses the Premier League and professional football clubs to inspire children aged 5-11 to learn, be active and develop important life skills (includes free lesson plans, activities and more).

Quit Day - American initiative supporting anti-tobacco education in community environments

Reading Hacks - a programme led by young people aged 13 to 24 who do reading activities and volunteering (called hacks) to gain skills and experience, and encourage young people to use the library.

SCL Learning Pool - a series of online learning modules, funded partially by Arts Council England, to help library staff recognise the barriers people face when getting online; equip staff to support people with various disability needs; and strengthen their role as digital champions.

SCL Universal Offers - six key areas of service which today’s public library users regard as integral to public library services and which offer a shared strategy for the future, as identified by the Society of Chief Librarians, Arts Council England and The Reading Agency.

Shelf Help - Books recommended by young people and health professionals, and available to borrow for free from public libraries, Shelf Help is an endorsed reading list about mental health that provides 13 to 18 year olds with information about issues like anxiety, stress, bullying and more.

Storybird - an online tool to make visual stories in seconds, with artwork from illustrators and animators around the world to inspire students to write stories based on the images provided.

Summer Reading Challenge - a national annual reading initiative for children during the summer holidays, all based in public libraries - children are encouraged to read six library books to complete the Challenge and earn exclusive rewards along the way, with a medal at the end.

TED Talks - an organisation focused on spreading ideas and learning in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less), covering almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.

Think U Know - an education programme from the National Crime Agency's CEOP command, which aims to empower children and young people aged 5-17 to identify the risks they may face online and know where they can go for support.

UK Online Centres - developed by the Good Things Foundation, the Online Centres Network is made up of over 5,000 grassroots organisations, all working to tackle digital and social exclusion by providing people with the skills and confidence they need to access digital technology.

Web Archive - provided by the British Library, the archive collects UK websites from 2004 onwards, to show how sites have changed over time and provide a space to locate information no longer available on the live Web, demonstrating the unfolding history of UK activities online.

Web Junction - an online resource where public library staff gather to build the knowledge, skills and support they need to power relevant, vibrant libraries, through free, on-demand courses, webinars and content for library staff at all levels.

Welsh Information Literacy Project - a project aiming to promote the understanding and development of information literacy in education, the workplace, and the wider community in Wales.

World Autism Awareness Week - an annual, national initiative by the National Autistic Society, where schools, workplaces and individuals across the UK take part in activities to raise money and promote awareness of autism. 

World Book Day - a national initiative that takes place in March, where children of all ages come together to appreciate reading, with schools and community organisations encouraging children to read by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

World Book Night - a national celebration of reading and books, which takes place on 23 April every year, when books are given our across UK communities with a focus on reaching those adults who don't regularly read.

Young Rewired State - a worldwide community of digital makers and technically gifted people aged 18 and under, which encourages together young coders, developers and those with other technical skills to build projects and support each other's development.

Presentations from PMLG Events

The links below are to a selection of the presentations delivered by speakers at previous PMLG events and other documents produced by PMLG Members. If you have delivered a presentation or workshop that you feel would be relevant to share with other public library professionals, please email us at

Advocacy For UK Public Libraries 2007-2017
Design for the Future
European Mobile Library Builders List 2017
UK Mobile Library Builders List 2019
Mobile Libraries: Your Operators Licence Holder and You!
Public Libraries Supporting Digital Literacy

Health Literacy 2018 - Collaboration Between Public & Health Libraries
Health Literacy 2018 - Dealing with Patient & Public Enquiries, The King's Fund
Health Literacy 2018 - How to Find Good Health Information Online & Assess Quality

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