CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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The Transformative Space of the Library

Category: #LibrariesAreEssential, #LibrariesAreEssential - Scotland's Stories, Blog, News

An illustration from the The Transformative Space of the Library report, showing four women around a table in Glasgow Women's Library with bookshelves behind them and speechbubbles reading 'Without libraries, there'd be a worse world' and 'it just changed my life so much'.

‘It’s amazing the things that I’ve learnt through the library. Honestly, I used to walk through the door in the library and when I walked back out the door I felt as if I was walking on air. That’s what the library means to me.’

All at CILIPS would like to express their thanks to Dr Holly Porteous, Dr Juliette Wilson and Professor Kathy Hamilton from the University of Strathclyde for sharing their report The Transformative Space of the Library as part of our #LibrariesAreEssential – Scotland’s Stories advocacy campaign.

Drawing on material gathered from Transformative Servicescapes and Consumer  Vulnerability (2020-2022), a two-year project funded by The Leverhulme Trust and based at the University of Strathclyde, this unique report uses Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL) as a case study to reveal insights into the role of libraries as community spaces where people can experience improved well-being and positive transformations in their lives.

‘Most libraries are an oasis […] That sense of a home away from home, a  place you can go that’s not commercial, it doesn’t have a big commercial goal in  mind; and it is a way of nurturing yourself intellectually and emotionally…’

Combining extensive interviews with historical analysis of the GWL archives, study of GWL’s online content about the range of events and projects the library hosts, and material from risograph workshops on the theme of GWL and transformations, the report offers a powerful and poignant illustration of why #LibrariesAreEssential in Scotland now more than ever.

‘It wasn’t like somebody’s vision of what what should be in a women’s library; it was thousands of people who’d kind of built it and were reflected on the shelves, which I loved.’

To read the report in full, please click here.

You can also discover more about The Transformative Space of the Library in the recording of our #LibrariesAreEssential – The Evidence online learning, available at the top of this page or via our YouTube channel.

A risograph from the The Transformative Space of the Library report, reading 'Finally, a space I can call home'.



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