Living Libraries, AHRC

Living Libraries is an AHRC-funded research project from the University of Roehampton, which makes the case for public libraries through the real-life experiences of those people who use, work in and run them.

Between August 2019 and January 2020, we gathered a total of forty-seven oral histories from staff and users of five public libraries, and with national figures in the library sector. Using this first-person testimony, we demonstrate the value of the UK’s public libraries to policy-makers and others, in order that they might be supported, developed and invested in for future generations.

Through the partnership with National Life Stories at the British Library, our interviews will be archived in the British Library Sound Archive, where they will be made publicly accessible, dependent on any access restrictions requested by interviewees. This archive will be preserved in perpetuity as a valuable resource for future researchers.