A total of three Scottish libraries have been successfully chosen to take part in The Europe Challenge 2022.

Teams from Culture Perth & Kinross Libraries, City of Glasgow College Library Services and Western Isles Libraries have all been successfully initiated into the programme organised by the European Cultural Foundation.  

The three services – all members of the Scottish Library and Information Council – submitted applications which supports libraries and their communities to design, test and deliver solutions to local challenges that can benefit all of Europe.

They help make up the 32 libraries and communities from 14 countries - including Italy, Ukraine and Poland - which successfully applied.

Strong Challenge Teams

Winning teams focused on a number of issues including climate change and the circular economy, addressing social isolation and loneliness, mental health in rural communities, reintegration of prisoners and community regeneration. The successful entries were chosen from 60 applications from libraries and communities across Europe. 

André Wilkens, Director of the European Cultural Foundation said: “We are delighted to welcome an extraordinarily strong group of challenge teams to this year’s Europe Challenge.

“The entries to the Europe Challenge this year were of a truly exceptional standard. The teams will be working on some of Europe’s most pressing and important challenges – and will contribute to how we will all face some of our greatest crises. 

“The Europe Challenge was conceived to ensure that there is a way for communities to address some of our most important challenges in a practical way – and will give libraries and communities vital support, including funding, tools and collective learning. 

“Libraries are in a unique place to help facilitate this vital work, given their connection to communities and their role as homes to trusted knowledge and information. We look forward to seeing and celebrating the outcomes of this work at the Europe Challenge showcase event in May 2023.”

The Europe Challenge developed as a response to multiple crises including climate change, the invasion of Ukraine and democratic, political and economic disruption. The Challenge is run by the European Cultural Foundation together with the Democratic Society. Which provides a programme of learning and support to help the challenge teams to work together.

The challenge teams will benefit from 12 months of funding and support, working offline and online throughout 2022 and into 2023 to design, test and showcase their prototypes.