In this week’s SLIC blog, Rachel Heydecker from the Carnegie UK Trust talks about exciting opportunities for librarians with the new round of Library Lab open for applications.

We’re very excited at the Carnegie UK Trust that applications are now open for a new round of our Carnegie Library Lab programme.  

The programme began in 2014 and in that time we’ve worked with two fantastic cohorts of aspiring library leaders and innovators from across the UK and Ireland, each over an 18-month period, to help them develop and deliver important new projects and build their personal leadership and innovation skills.   

Carnegie Partners

We’re now seeking a new set of ‘Carnegie Partners’ to take part in the programme. Library Lab is open to anyone working in a public library in an early or mid-management role. Our unique programme offers:

  • financial support for participants to develop and deliver an innovative, practical project in their local library service
  • exclusive access to a bespoke online learning programme to support innovation, leadership and skills development
  • access to an external mentor to assist with project management and personal development
  • networking events including face-to-face meetings and online platform
  • an external evaluation

Our most recent Carnegie Partner in Scotland was Naomi Kenney. Her project ‘History in Action on the Screen’ used green screen technology in Bonnybridge Library to give young people the opportunity to learn digital skills and create films, and make connections with volunteer community groups in Falkirk who shared their historical knowledge.

Naomi’s project forged new partnerships with community organisations and created intergenerational relationships between school children and Historical Society volunteers, and she also benefited as a professional. Library Lab’s online learning programme provided her with valuable information, insight and techniques to develop leadership and project management skills.

Opportunity for Innovation

Library Lab is an opportunity for library staff to implement or develop an innovative idea they have in their library, however it is about much more than just project funding. Our Carnegie Associate Tom Forrest guides Carnegie Partners through a bespoke online learning programme focussing on leadership skills and professional development, as well as bringing the group together over the course of the programme to share learning and ideas. Carnegie Partners are also assigned a mentor from outside their organisation, to offer assistance in developing and implementing the innovative idea through their own experience and networks. 

Our previous partners have taken part in TV and radio interviews about their projects, developed relationships within the library sector and beyond and have credited the programme with giving them confidence to apply for, and gain, promotions. One of our previous Partners described Library Lab as the high point in her professional career so far.

Application Details

Applications for the third and final round of Carnegie Library Lab are currently open, and close on Thursday 5th April 2018 at 5pm. If you are interested in learning more, you can read about our most recent Partners’ experiences here.

To apply,  download the Application Notes and Criteria, FAQs and Notes and Supporting Statement Guidelines for Sponsors, and complete the online application form here.