On the SLIC blog this week, Head of Policy & Projects Gillian Daly talks about exciting new opportunities to develop co-working hubs in Scottish libraries.

Public libraries have something for everyone and, very soon, we will be adding to this offer by introducing flexible workspaces to support small businesses and start-ups.

The Scottish Library and Information Council has received funding from the Scottish Government to pilot library workspaces at several locations around the country.

The workspaces will be hosted in areas of the library that are currently underused or unused.

Subscribers will be able to sign up to use a vibrant new workspace with access to the latest office technologies, and that all important cup of coffee to kick-start the day.

Keeping Libraries Relevant

We know that the workforce has changed dramatically in recent years, and that there’s more change to come in the future. People are no longer tied to fixed locations and working patterns, and are looking for more flexible solutions.

Public libraries have the major benefit of being located in the hearts of towns and cities across Scotland, making them ideal venues to do business.

Libraries also have a strong tradition of supporting people towards their goals, whether they are focussed on recreation, education, wellbeing or employment.

Providing Important Resources

Many libraries already offer access to business information resources and databases, which provide the intelligence for small business growth and development.

Building on this offer, our pilot workspaces will bring subscribers together through a programme of activities and events specifically designed to meet their business needs and goals.

This will include practical guides to setting up in enterprise, as well as ongoing support for business development and access to networking opportunities.

Libraries are fundamentally about communities and this new venture will spread the library offer even wider in 2018!

We are currently scoping locations for the initial pilot phase and look forward to the launch of the first hub in the spring.