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Unlimited innovation for Devon's libraries

Unlimited innovation from Devon and Torbay's libraries

DEVON and Torbay’s library service has been named as one of the country’s top innovators.

The UK’s 50 most radical thinking individuals and organisations were named by Nesta, the innovation foundation, and the Observer newspaper. Each of those named on the New Radicals list are highlighted for the solutions they bring to tackling social challenges.

The list is published every two years and this year saw the inclusion of Libraries Unlimited, a spin-out, community-owned library service that manages public and prison libraries in Devon and Torbay. The service became one of the first library organisations to be enrolled as an Arts Council England National Portfolio holder.

Libraries Unlimited was created in April 2016 to manage Devon’s Libraries. It took over the management of Torbay library last year. Ciara Eastell OBE, Chief Executive of Libraries Unlimited said: “We are pleased and proud to be named one of Nesta’s 2018 New Radicals and to be associated with other people and organisations working hard to make a difference to people’s lives.

“All of us at Libraries Unlimited are absolutely committed to libraries and to providing people with information, support and inspiration. We believe in the power of libraries to change people’s lives and are constantly looking for new ways to reach and engage with people.

“To have our work acknowledged in this way is a real honour, and will give us all the motivation to continue being creative, to take more risks and to challenge people’s perceptions about how libraries can remain relevant in the 21st century.”

Nesta Chief Executive Geoff Mulgan said: “Being a radical means going against the grain and taking big risks. But this list shows that Britain’s radical traditions are as strong as ever.

“While one part of our politics and society drifts into a permanent state of angry moaning, another part is getting on with making the best of things. That’s surely the best way to stay sane and hopeful.”

Nicholas Serota, Chair of ACE, said the ­acknowledgment is a reminder of the power of libraries to transform lives and communities. He said: “Libraries are so important to individuals and communities and ­Libraries Unlimited has broken new ground in developing such an ­imaginative programme for the people of Devon.”


Published: 8 November 2017

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