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Shortlist for the CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award 2018 Announced

Shortlist for the CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award 2018 Announced

Three library services in Glasgow, Kirklees and Newcastle have been shortlisted for the CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award for excellence and innovation in UK libraries. From helping people to get online and access essential digital services, to providing critical financial and legal advice, and bringing the joy of books to adults and children with diverse needs through multisensory storytelling, these three pieces of work showcase how libraries build successful partnerships make a positive impact in communities across the country.
The winner will be announced on 11 October during Libraries Week, a celebration of the nation’s much-loved libraries, and will receive a £4,000 investment from CILIP, the library and information association.


About the shortlisted services

Glasgow Libraries have brought the central Citizen’s Advice Bureau into one of the UK’s busiest libraries, the Mitchell Library. The library team and the Bureau have focused “inreach” on library customers that were in need of information and advice on a range of issues including financial and debt problems, and employment and legal difficulties. The library staff have found that working with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau has created opportunities to provide more support and advice to people experiencing homelessness. 

Kirklees Libraries’ Well into Words: Sensory is a project which uses a multisensory approach to storytelling, making the classics accessible to a diverse range of groups including people with learning difficulties, visual impairments and those living with dementia. Using objects, sounds and smells for an immersive experience, the project facilitates an understanding of the (sometimes challenging) themes contained within classic books, stories and poems. This approach opens up literature to many who would find a traditional book format challenging or impossible.

Newcastle Libraries have formed the Get Online Newcastle partnership with Your Homes Newcastle to provide digital training to local residents. The project has so far changed the lives of over 1,800 residents, helping them to access and use the internet, and develop their skills and confidence using devices. Get Online Newcastle started by training social housing tenants to provide digital skills support in their communities, and has expanded to include weekly digital skills courses and training to charity and community organisations which are delivered out of libraries across the City.

John Vincent, Chair of Judges said, “I would like to congratulate the library teams in Glasgow, Kirklees and Newcastle who have clearly demonstrated the power of libraries to work with their communities to make a real, positive and lasting difference. Everyone should be able to access essential advice, be immersed in a story and get online. This work showcases how libraries every day, across the country provide life-changing services for all.”

The Libraries Change Lives Award is judged by CILIP’s Community, Diversity and Equality Group (CDEG). For over twenty-five years, the award has recognised a number of targeted initiatives around health and wellbeing and services designed to support local populations dealing with dementia, autism, visual impairment, domestic abuse and mental health issues.


Ongoing programmes recognised by the award include Bookstart, the Government-backed scheme first piloted by Birmingham Libraries which now reaches three million babies and their parents across the UK; and The City of Edinburgh’s HMP Edinburgh Library Partnership, an initiative that has transformed engagement among the prison population, tackling social exclusion and providing education and employment opportunities for a better transition to community life.


Press release

Published: 19 September 2018

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