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Working with public libraries

This page describes some of the ways we work with public libraries. Also in this section are pages for the Laser Foundation.

Hidden Treasures Brought to Life

In spring 2007 the British Library, in collaboration with the Society of Chief Librarians, Scottish library chiefs and Microsoft, launched a spectacular competition to put treasures held in public libraries online. Five winning libraries have had 30 pages of their nominated treasures digitised, converted into Turning the Pages 2.0 format, and hosted online by the British Library for three years.

Public Libraries Training Package

This introduction to the British Library’s collections and services was created by Sue Cook of Leeds Library and Information Services on secondment to the British Library, specifically for staff in public libraries and in association with the Society of Chief Librarians

Society of Chief Librarians

The Society of Chief Librarians in England and Wales is a professional association made up of the Chief Librarians of each library authority in England and Wales. SCL aims to take a leading role in the development of public libraries by influencing statutory, financial and other decisions. Together with Society of Chief Librarians, the British Library has established an annual senior forum with the aim of exchanging information, exploring current issues across the UK library and information network, and fostering shared and DCMS objectives.

The British Library and SCL jointly sponsor a delegate each year to attend the Public Library Authority Conference.The successful candidate is also to be invited to spend a day at the British Library en route to the conference.

British Library Champions

Each year the British Library invites librarians to come and learn more about their national library. Champions Days are open to all public library staff but will be of particular interest to new librarians and those currently working towards certification or chartership. For further information please contact

The Laser Foundation

The Laser Foundation was a grant making trust that supported applications from libraries, academic institutions and all other organisations striving to improve library facilities available to the public. The Laser Foundation operated from September 2001 to April 2007.

Business & IP Centre

The Business & IP Centre provides a range of services for people who are starting or growing a business. The Centre is keen to build links with public libraries, and offers tours and workshops for library staff. If you would like to arrange a tour of the Centre, or receive leaflets to display, please contact To find out more about the Centre visit

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