I’m Frances Tout, a Community Librarian at North Somerset Public Libraries. My role has responsibility for outreach, equalities and volunteers across North Somerset, I also line manage two village libraries and the mobile library.
Despite troubled times I am optimistic that there can still be a positive future for public libraries, I believe that libraries need to constantly evolve to stay relevant.
In 2016 I was fortunate enough to be one of the six UK librarians to become Carnegie Partners in the second cohort of the Library Lab programme. The Carnegie UK Trust created the three year Library Lab programme to support and develop innovation and leadership in the public library sector. The programme offers funding for an innovative library project, an online learning programme to support skills development, a personal mentor to help with project management and personal development and networking opportunities with other Library Lab Partners.
Over the past four months I have been developing my Library Lab project, Cook2Learn, and have felt that I should be documenting my journey partly as reflection for myself but also to share with others. This blog aims to cover my Library Lab journey and other library related activities that I’m participating in.
Travelling Librarian 2015 Blog
In 2015 I was the recipient of the Travelling Librarian Award, the award is sponsored by The English-Speaking Union (ESU) in partnership with The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). I spent almost a month travelling down the east coast of the United States heading from Boston to New York, The Hudson Valley, Philadelphia and Washington DC and then moving inland to Chattanooga. The study tour enabled me to learn about the wide range of innovative community engagement programmes delivered by public library services in the United States. I have a separate blog for this which followed the planning and the tour https://travellinglibrarian2015.wordpress.com/