In recent years the Trust has pioneered innovative thinking about the future of public libraries, not only in Hull but around the world. A series of publications produced by the Trust gives access to our views.
In 2015 the James Reckitt Library Trust was invited by Hull City Council to assume a strategic consultancy role. Since then the Trust has pioneered a series of bold interventions into thinking about the future of public libraries. Our views have attracted national and international interest.
Our first major statement about the future of public libraries in Hull came in 2016 with the publication of a manifesto, The Soul of the City. Against a background of massive cuts in public library provision in the United Kingdom, it was a clarion call for the defence of public libraries based on a better understanding of their contemporary significance and an imaginative take on their future.
This led directly to the publication in 2017 of a detailed, wide-ranging and radical report on the city’s public libraries. Entitled Rethinking public library services in Hull: a framework for transformation and growth, the report was an attempt to set out both a practical development path for the library service in Hull and a new perspective on public libraries in general.
2017 also saw the publication of a short conceptual brief for a new central library in Hull. This was followed by a period of detailed research and consultation on physical library provision in the city, resulting in the development of the concept of the deconstructed library. Experimentation with this was advocated in the 2019 publication The Power of Curiosity.
The Trust continues to take an active interest in innovative thinking about the future of public libraries.Our Publications