Smart libraries build smart communities and smart cities

In order to be a leader in the global knowledge economy, we know we need skilled workers. We know that online services are faster and cheaper and that more people online opens up new markets and enable businesses to respond quickly with innovative new products and services.

We need to deliver the Smart agenda bottom up not top down and take strong confident citizens with us. Somebody has to pull together a way to deliver so many different agendas in a coherent way – we need a secret weapon, we need smart libraries.

Forget any preconceptions you have and reimagine the infrastructure/ network of library spaces you already have. You have that secret weapon, untapped underresourced underimagined solutions – a library – a hybrid space – digital, physical and social. It’s a place in communities across the nation that people trust, they know we understand privacy, diversity and equality -it’s personal, social, cultural and physical. It’s trusted and values privacy, people feel equal and confident in this space!

It will retain the empathy, huumanity, sympathy and humanity that will become even more scarce and hence more valuable in the digital future world.

Your secret weapon is a SMART library, a smart centre, putting the digital economy within everyone’s reach. Time for service redesign! Why aren’t libraries in the Smart City team?


A one-stop destination to test drive the latest technology, equalising access and skills around the new technologies from coding, circuit making to AR and VR and mixed reality. It is part of a national network of experiential, entrepreneurial, experimental spaces – a “solution” ready to go.A place where if you can’t afford an expensive education, college or university you will you be included in the SMART agenda.

It’s also where you can get help, support or join a group on autism, dyslexia, literacies or cancer care. Get the kids to a storytime, rhymetime or summer holiday activities. Join a teen group, hear an author, homework club, makerspace, a coding club or try out a 3D printer.

Need a workspace, desk printer, business information, free wi-fi? ……………and I haven’t even mentioned the books and fabulous genealogy, local history and special collections! The job for many of us is equalising access and skills around the new and fast developing technologies.

The smart library merges physical and digital excellence, technology and learning but also the creation of innovative employment, social enterprise or regeneration spaces. Spaces for opportunity to thrive, opportunities for people to shape and influence their community, to co-design and co-produce. A space for people and learning – it’s in our DNA!

The Smart Library is technologically and digitally astute and is building “the platform” – a new, trusted global platform that tells you all the library data you need to know wherever you are lets you contribute to and access a wonderful world of unique content and resources once kept quiet and hidden.

The Smart Library experience will function as beautifully as an Apple store, make recommendations like Amazon, speak in hashtags, love Tumblr and totally ready for its selfie. The Smart Library knows exactly where you are and maybe even what you want. Tiny Bluetooth beacons positioned strategically around the library and outside sends a push notification to your phone urging a visit to the author event thinks you’ll like, or to the book by the author you enjoyed.

The Smart Library is a silver bullet for national economic success and digital inclusion lies in investing in and reinventing our network of Library –”Smart Centres” 


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We live in times of massive disruption but for me never more exciting or fascinating! The world of libraries and information has changed hugely over



Smart libraries build smart communities and smart cities In order to be a leader in the global knowledge economy, we know we need skilled workers.