The British Library forms nationwide network of libraries to share knowledge, collections and creativity

Living Knowledge Network steering group members at their first meeting at the British Library, 16 September 2016. Photo credit: Antony Grant, British Library Imaging Services.

* Living Knowledge Network of 21 major libraries meets for the first time at the British Library
* National Library of Wales and National Library of Scotland also founder members

The British Library has launched the Living Knowledge Network, a nationwide partnership between the Library and 21 major libraries in cities and towns across the UK. The Network will combine local expertise and national organising power to share knowledge, resources and activities. 

Funded by Arts Council England and the British Library for a two-year pilot period, the Living Knowledge Network aims to:

  • Enable knowledge exchange – strengthening libraries’ collective ability to deliver world-class library services to diverse communities;
  • Develop joint offerings for library users – collaborating on programmes, activities and shared content;
  • Form a powerful partnership – working together on funding applications, evidence gathering and to share programmes of activity with a combined audience of 13 million.

Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library said: “At the heart of the Living Knowledge Network is a simple aspiration: to create value by sharing ideas and sparking connections between libraries, collections and people across the UK. We were delighted to bring Network libraries together for our first ever meeting on September 16, where we discussed collaborative opportunities and the benefits we can realise working together.”

In January 2015, the British Library published its new strategy, Living Knowledge, which has at its heart the British Library’s mission to make its intellectual heritage available to everyone, for research, inspiration and enjoyment.  The Living Knowledge Network is a new way of working in response to this ambition. 


Unless stated otherwise, media content on the press area of our website, including images, is protected by third-party rights such as copyright or trademarks. The British Library is permitted to make the content available to you for promoting associated British Library’s exhibitions, events or activities. If you are not using images to promote a British Library activity, you must clear all rights for your use of any in-copyright material beyond uses permitted under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.

  • Dimensions:
  • File size:

Notes to Editors

The British Library's partners in the Living Knowledge Network are: Birmingham City Council, Bournemouth Borough Council, Edinburgh Council, Libraries Unlimited, Glasgow Life, Kirklees Council, Suffolk's Libraries Industrial and Provident Society (IPS), Leeds City Council, Liverpool City Council, Manchester City Council, Newcastle City Council, The Preston Harris Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales, First for Wellbeing, Norfolk County Council, Northern Ireland Library Authorities, Portsmouth City Council, Reading Borough Council, Sheffield City Council, Wakefield Council, Middlesbrough Council and Hull City Council.

For more information:

Ben Sanderson
The British Library
t: +44 (0)1937 546 126

Evenings and weekends:
+44 (0) 20 7412 7150

Press Office contacts

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.