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Rethinking Public Libraries

14th July 2017

James Reckitt Library Trust Publishes Major Report

The report also incorporates the Trust’s advocacy of the Library of Hull, a new development in the centre of the city designed to be an international exemplar of what public libraries have to offer in the 21st century. Details of this project, newly named Destination Sweet Minerva, will be released soon.

Finally, the report calls for a formal partnership between the City Council and the James Reckitt Library Trust with a view to developing a new strategic plan for the library service along with a new financial strategy capable of delivering the significant levels of investment – into physical infrastructure, digital transformation, organisational development and marketing – that are required to underpin sustainable transformation of Hull’s public libraries.

Dr Richard Heseltine, Chair of the Trust, was proud to publish the report:

"It provides a framework for the development of a vibrant and progressive 21st century library service,’ he said, ‘capable of making a significant contribution to the reinvention and development of our city. It seems only right that a rethinking of library services should be done in the name of Sir James Reckitt, one of the original pioneers of public libraries, and in the year when Hull is so memorably fulfilling its status as UK City of Culture."

The Trust believes that the tide is changing, and that now is the time to make a reality of our vision. We have asked Andrew Mawson Partnerships to help us with this. Andrew Mawson Partnerships was started by Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, one of the UK’s leading social entrepreneurs. It acts as an umbrella consultancy to a growing portfolio of regeneration projects. Lord Mawson founded the internationally renowned Bromley-by-Bow Centre nearly three decades ago. His championing and development of an integrated working model for successful community regeneration – involving health, education, housing, business and enterprise – has received international recognition.

In the coming months, the Trust will be working with individuals and organisations across the city and beyond to develop the concept of the Library of Hull into a truly world-class, world-leading development proposal. We are treating this as a journey of curiosity and imagination. We don’t know yet exactly where it will lead, but we are sure that the outcome will be worthy of a City of Culture that no longer places limits on its ambitions.