Making contact with new audiences is vital for institutions that pride themselves on staying relevant in changing times. We explore innovative ways to engage people who may not realise what the Library can offer them, frequently working with partners to expand our offering and extend our reach. Such initiatives have become standard practice, part of the mindset of the organisation.
In our Business & IP Centre, for example, we have exceeded the London Development Agency’s funding targets for business advice sessions by more than 100%. We’ve attracted diverse audiences
to events that have featured role-model entrepreneurs such as Tim Campbell from The Apprentice, Lord Bilimoria, creator of Cobra Beer and John Bird, founder of The Big Issue.
Bill Gates’ launch of the new Vista software at the Library in January 2007 was a defining moment for us, uniting the opportunities of new technology with the public interest that Leonardo da Vinci invariably draws.
From this ground-breaking work with Microsoft came a generous sponsorship initiative with UK public libraries and the Society of Chief Librarians. This gives people across the UK the chance to nominate local masterpieces in print or manuscript that should be mounted on Turning the Pages for wider enjoyment.