Libraries after lockdown: A virtual collaboration

About the project


SCONUL's project Libraries after Lockdown brings members together to share and learn from our collective responses to the Covid 19 crisis and to think creatively about the future. It looks at service design, organisational development, and at library technology and markets through three programmes of activity including virtual events.

This new way of working was developed to meet the challenges of the pandemic and members’ needs, for example working at speed to deliver webinars, open data sets and advocacy. As the sector emerges from this crisis, we will be delivering our strategic aims taking the best from this way of working. 

Libraries after Lockdown programmes

We have established three new programmes:

From Adaptive Practice to Service Redesign 
Blended learning and the shape and design of library services

The Dynamic Workforce
Developing an agile, resilient workforce to meet the evolving needs of the institution

Embracing Disruption 
New technologies, markets and new uses for existing technologies

Alongside this, our work on the cost and value of content will continue, focusing on ebooks, journal negotiations including with Elsevier, and developments in open access including the UKRI OA policy which is expected this summer.

How we will work

Each programme will include a series of activities bringing members together to discuss and shape our collective future. We will create opportunities for you to share innovation and best practice; to debate the trends and issues that will shape the future of the sector; and to hear from expert contributors from within and beyond the sector. Some events will have a clear strategic focus and others will address more operational issues providing opportunities for those leading practice areas to debate and discuss the way forward. These events will replace the SCONUL Summer Conference in 2021 and we will keep under review how we might combine this work with physical events when this becomes possible.

We are using a dedicated platform for this collaboration, for details on how to register e-mail

This work will help inform the conversations that we need to have with our stakeholders inside and beyond the institution. The current crisis has placed libraries centre stage In discussions about university life. At points this has meant a strong focus on the physical library and at others on the online delivery of content and support for online teaching and research. We see an opportunity for libraries to assert their vital central role in the physical and virtual life of their institution.

Communities of interest groups

We will be establishing community of interest groups to operate alongside these programmes. These groups will be semi-autonomous and self-organising and will provide opportunities for future and developing leaders to come together and share their expertise, to learn from each other, and to provide the community with the benefits of their collective knowledge and wisdom. Further details can be found here.



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