• ‘Sharing Stories’ will encourage families to learn how their children’s literacy develops
  • The project will form a partnership between researchers at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Dundee and Glasgow Libraries

The development of children’s literacy is to be highlighted in a wide-ranging research partnership between researchers at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Dundee and Glasgow Libraries after the library service won a £24,000 grant from the highly competitive Engaging Libraries Programme.

The new initiative will encourage families who live in ‘literacy hotspots’ to connect with research about how children’s literacy develops. Through a series of workshops, they will co-produce material which can be given to all new parents as part of the ‘Every Child A Library Member’ initiative.

Almost half of all UK library services applied to the Engaging Libraries programme, which is run by The Carnegie UK Trust, Wellcome and the Wolfson Foundation. It brings vital research projects at universities into the heart of local communities, using libraries to encourage and share learning.


Andrew Olney, Head of Communities and Libraries, Glasgow Life said:

Glasgow Life is delighted to be part of the Engaging Libraries programme. Working with academics from the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee, we will support families living in areas with lower than average literacy levels to engage with, and respond to, the latest research on literacy development. Families will then create a peer-to-peer literacy resource, which will be given to all new parents in Glasgow. This is an exciting opportunity to unlock the potential of literacy research to affect meaningful change, and we are looking forward to working with and learning from all of the other Library services involved.

Sarah Davidson, CEO of the Carnegie UK Trust said:

Engaging Libraries is all about giving people the opportunity to access, use and respond to research. Libraries have a unique position as trusted, safe spaces at the heart of our communities, and this programme is designed to help people explore new ideas and even play a role in influencing research.

“The process will also give university researchers a great opportunity to make connections between their ideas, research findings and the knowledge and experiences of local communities. We are really looking forward to working with all the winning projects.

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture & Society, Wellcome said:

We are delighted to be supporting a second phase of Engaging Libraries with the Wolfson Foundation and Carnegie UK Trust. We saw a strong demand from the library sector in how they could connect together people’s ideas and interests to research, we hope that this helps stimulate new partnerships and ideas and changes the way libraries can develop their social innovation role.

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:

We are delighted to be working in such fruitful partnership with Carnegie and Wellcome. These are important and intriguing projects, with a wonderful regional spread and tackling some complex, challenging, crucial issues for society. We also hope that these projects will act as exemplars for how public libraries and research institutions can work together.

The 14 projects selected to be part of Engaging Libraries will undertake a development period of up to 6 months, supported by the Engaging Libraries team and a bespoke programme of events and workshops to further develop and refine their project ideas before launching their activities.