LibrarIN Project — Value Co-Creation and Social Innovation for a New Generation of European Libraries

Funded by Horizon Europe under the call Research and innovation on cultural heritage and CCIs, the LibrarIN Project will examine ways that libraries can develop new functions, services and engagement with the individuals, organisations and communities they serve. This will be achieved through social innovation based on public value co-creation and a demand-driven design of library services.

 

 

 

 

Timeframe

01-11-2022 – 31-10-2025

LIBER libraries whose institutions participate in LibrarIN

  • University of Alcala
  • Konstanz University
  • University of Lille
  • University of Maastricht

LibrarIN will examine ways that libraries can develop new functions, services and engagement with the individuals, organisations and communities they serve. This will be achieved through social innovation based on public value co-creation and a demand-driven design of library services.

The rationale for this project builds on the role of libraries as public services which are facing the varied challenges of the 21st century. Many of these challenges are shared with museums, cultural centres, galleries, and cultural institutions, such as the OECD and UNESCO, and professional associations like LIBER. These challenges include the delivery of efficient high-quality public services, and the improvement of libraries’ capacity to deal with societal challenges, such as the ones included under the European Green Deal.

The needs and expectations of libraries and their current potential users are drastically evolving over time. LibrarIN will concentrate on social innovation in libraries and encourage the participation of citizens in co-creating their future. Key functions within libraries such as hubs for online access, co-working spaces, living labs for participatory activities, and cultural and socioeconomic centres can promote social entrepreneurship. Innovative libraries aim at complementing these physical and online services with more interactive services for users, and an active engagement in the production of new or improved economic, social and cultural services. Libraries need to perform these new functions to “re-position” themselves at the core of cultural and socioeconomic activity in the neighbourhoods, cities and regions where they operate, and where they constitute a key part of the innovation ecosystems.

The aforementioned transformation of libraries requires thinking of inclusive ways of citizen engagement to create public value. The LibrarIN project believes the traditional view of top-down public administrations, in which citizens are not involved in the creation of services, is no longer appropriate. Modern-day challenges increase the need for a demand-driven design of state-of-the-art library services, to allow the effective engagement of citizens and organizations and ”unlock social assets”.

LIBER’s Role

LIBER, as leaders of WP6 (Dissemination, Communication and Sustainability), will lead the dissemination of project results and awareness-raising within the scientific and policy community, stakeholders in general, practitioners and citizens. LIBER will also utilise its network of research libraries and connections within the library community to contribute to mapping exercises and will play a decisive role in stakeholder engagement tasks.

Contact

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LibrarIN Objectives

LibrarIN will work towards three overarching objectives:

i) an integrated conceptual framework to understand the process of value co-creation in libraries service delivery, complemented with an evaluation of different approaches to knowledge transformation in libraries, both in terms of their processes and their impact;

ii) new metrics for library transformation and new empirical case studies on existent and ongoing efforts to develop innovative public services in ways that enable the co-creation of value, including a novel European survey on innovation in libraries;

iii) Policy and managerial recommendations, and policy and managerial tools, to implement new ideas and scale up best-practice experiences that effectively use value-co-creation to unlock social assets. The policy tools also include indicators for monitoring and evaluating existing initiatives to support library service transformation.

LibrarIN has a particular focus on three co-creation areas: digital transformation, living labs, and social
entrepreneurship and public-private-third sector innovation networks.

 

[Photo by Nejc Soklič on Unsplash]

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