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Community Managed Libraries

Locality is supporting a national network of community organisations and local authorities exploring the transfer of library services and assets.

Locality is working with Arts Council England to explore existing good practice and assess the further potential to enable enterprise amongst library service providers.

Read our latest report into how libraries can use enterprise to generate extra income: Income Generation for Public Libraries: learning and case studies from a national pilot project in England

Read the first Enabling Enterprise in Libraries report Locality produced with Arts Council England.

The Libraries Community Knowledge Hub

The Libraries Community Knowledge Hub provides an online platform and resource for the community library network, bringing together advice and guidance; peer networking; and access to a range of resources and remote support. Please visit for more information.

Libraries under community management

Interest in community management of libraries has grown significantly in recent months driven in part by budget cuts, but also due to increased recognition of the potential for community managed solutions to add value to service delivery.

We believe that library services play a vitally important role at the very heart of our communities, and that ‘doing nothing’ would come at a considerable cost. The Community Managed Library programme aims to support and promote good practice including:

  • work with local authorities to develop strategic approaches to sustainable library service and asset transfer
  • work with community organisations around viability and sustainability of library transfer
  • inspiring innovation in service transformation by sharing learning across the network, and exploring synergies with related services and emerging technologies
  • supporting collaboration to develop the potential of this emerging movement

The Community Managed Library Network benefits from the support of:

  • Experienced community managed library practitioners and pioneers
  • Experts in the fields of asset transfer, community enterprise and social action
  • A growing peer support network of emerging community organisations and authorities developing a new wave of community library services