A new model of sustaining vibrant, modern libraries, Libraries Unlimited is reinvigorating community life in Devon
Against the national backdrop of library closures and reduced opening hours, Libraries Unlimited formed as a public service mutual to sustain 50 libraries across Devon. Now, with community ownership at the heart of its ethos and free from the constraints of local government, it is expanding its reach, with over 60,000 new members joining over two years.
In rural Devon, the library is a vital social resource ripe for transformation. Rejuvenating libraries as centres for experimental arts programming, reading initiatives and health campaigns demonstrates that the library has a key role in people’s lives: to “learn, imagine, create, succeed and realise their potential”.
Securing Arts Council England funding for the ‘Unlimited Potential’ project, Libraries Unlimited is tackling hidden deprivation and attracting people across age groups with a bold, and inclusive programme of activities such as ‘Drag Queen Story Time’ for the Under 5s.
Two ‘Fab Labs’ also offer open access to a range of digital making kits, helping local start-ups and individuals grow their businesses.
Having won a competitive bid to deliver Torbay libraries, Libraries Unlimited is already redefining the library for the 21st century.