Over the course of the year, SLIC has been working closely with Young Scot on a co-design project involving a panel of young people in creating, designing and delivering recommendations based on their perceptions of libraries. In line with the Year of Young People 2018 and the refresh of Ambition & Opportunity, our strategy for public libraries, SLIC was keen to find out about the barriers facing young people accessing libraries and hear their views on how to better shape these services.

The Next Chapter

Over the course of two residential events and a number of meet-ups, Young Scot and SLIC supported The Next Chapter Vision Panel to explore their own knowledge and experiences, as well as those of other young people, to create ideas and solutions to barriers facing young people in libraries. In addition, the Panel incorporated feedback from a national survey and additional workshops with care-experienced young people and refugees into their final recommendations.

The Next Chapter Vision Panel created 24 recommendations to pass on to SLIC. These were grouped into four categories: technology; spaces in libraries; services and activities; and, facilities.

Throughout the co-design process, the Panel explored how different young people’s experiences might affect their views of libraries, how the structure of libraries may affect the way young people interact with them, and how their cultural expectations might influence their decision to use the library. The Panel visited a range of libraries and spoke to library staff about the activities libraries offer, as well as reflected on their research about some of the most common issues raised. These included library resources and layout; promotion and engagement; services and availability; and, perceptions.

Next Chapter logo

What’s Next?

The recommendations presented by the Panel aim to help encourage more young people to use public libraries. SLIC wants to thank the young people and Young Scot for their efforts in producing The Next Chapter report and is excited to take these recommendations forward as part of the refresh of Ambition & Opportunity.

One of the panellists, Eve, said “we hope library services continue to grow and are used by a wide variety of age groups. Libraries are great places for learning and relaxing and they provide a welcoming environment for people of all backgrounds”. Another panellist, Kiera, said being involved in the project “has allowed me to look deeper into mine, and other communities, and care about the future of them”.

The Next Chapter report can be accessed on Young Scot’s website.