The idea of ‘Living Library’ originated in Scandinavia. It's a scheme that gives direct access to someone else’s experience, by allowing people to ‘borrow’ someone who is an expert in their field, has significant experience to share, or is passionate about a hobby.
‘Loans’ take the form of a conversation, and can last for half an hour, a morning or an afternoon.
Living Library has been developed in a number of countries and experience seems to illustrate the contribution that library, museum and archive services can make to community cohesion. I've been working with the Community Services Group of CILIP and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council to organise a seminar in London which will share experiences from Australia and Belgium.
Among the questions we hope to explore are:
Here's the line-up:
Chair: Catherine Max, Head of Policy Development, MLA
Martin Field, Director, Richmond-Tweed Regional Library, New South Wales, Australia
Katleen Van der Straeten, Jeugd Rode Kruis, Belgium
Helen Carpenter, Project Co-ordinator, Welcome To Your Library
Cost: £45 including coffee/tea (CSG members £40).